Over 400,000 West Aussies visit the show each year during the first week of the September/October school holidays, and even though there are a wealth of attractions and events to entice you in, as ticket prices creep up every year (and this year, budget blow outs mean there is no longer free entry for school-aged kids) some of us might need another way in to the Greatest Show in Perth.
Every year the Royal Agricultural Society depends on teams of volunteers to assist with the smooth running of the show, and there is a job to suit most people. The minimum age for volunteers is 14 years but in some cases younger people can work if accompanied by an adult.
If you enjoy chatting to people then the best place for you is in the Information Booth just inside the main entrance. You will need to be able to direct people all over the show and answer all sorts of questions, probably like 'where are the toilets' and 'do they still sell Dagwood dogs.' Shifts are four and a half hours long and training is provided.
If you prefer animals to humans then consider volunteering in the animal patting areas, the cleverly named - Pat-a-Pig, Cuddle-a-Chicken and Luv-a-Lamb. You will still need to be good with people though (especially children) as one of the roles is controlling the numbers of people entering the enclosure and making sure kids don't 'mishandle' the animals. Shifts are three hours long.
Other places you can volunteer is on the Yellow Brick Road, with dozens of stations needing people to stamp passports, hand out goodies and help kids with activities. Shifts are four hours. Or perhaps volunteer on the new Farm2Food and FarmTech exhibitions which need people who can interactive and work with older kids. Shifts are five hours long.
If you have a particular interest or knowledge about certain topics you might be suited to working with various committees such as the Wool and Sheep Committees or Art displays. You can volunteer to assist at the prize-giving presentations handing out the ribbons and trophies.
If these sound all too terrifying, then you can always sign up to assist in the main admin office prior to the Show starting, and help with mail outs and postage.
Similarly, if you're happy to help and don't mind where, you can nominate to be an emergency floating volunteer. Unfortunately you don't get to levitate all over the Show but you will be used to assist if other volunteers are unable to attend their shift.
As well as getting to tell all your mates you 'worked at the show' and that general buzz you get from helping other people, all volunteers will receive free entry to the Royal Show and you can pretty much be guaranteed a great time.