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All the country shows in one place
With a spring in our footsteps, and the weather not looking too hot, the South Australian Country Shows program continues in earnest beyond the early series of spring country shows. October and November are the two biggest months of the year for country shows, and this year is no exception with no fewer than 25 shows spread across most parts of the State.
During this time of the year, the mid north of South Australia is usually sitting back and watching the crops grow while contemplating whether the weather is kind enough to produce a satisfactory harvest. With colour aplenty within the fields, and the fresh smells of an alluring countryside, a trip to a mid north country show makes for an appealing day trip, or perhaps a highlight of the October long weekend.
Unique and special activities at the mid north country shows include Lee Brocky's Country Band and sheep racing at Mt Remarkable, scarecrow and fire pit competitions at Jamestown, spinning wool and shearing demonstrations at Minlaton, helicopter rides and over 100 stalls at Clare, Ute Muster and various equestrian events at Kapunda, while Eudunda sees the popular Gustav Trail, made famous by Colin Thiele, make an appearance.
Rides at Kapunda
Not to be outdone, the Fleurieu Peninsula also puts on a parade of shows over the long weekend and the school holidays. Within an hour's drive of Adelaide, there are four great shows with the two big ones extending over two days making it an ideal excuse to stay over for an extra night.
The tourism attractiveness of the Fleurieu adds to the beauty of these shows and culminates in some great events. Of particular interest are the vintage machinery show at Yankalilla, wood chopping at Strathalbyn, the two day kids party at Port Elliot, and the dance and drumming festival at Callington.
By far the most popular place to be for country shows this season is in the South East of the State. Every major town is hosting a country show with no fewer than 10 shows in the region. The cooler climates associated with the South East will mean that there is a great chance that the weather will be perfect, with the atmosphere for a picnic prevailing.
Kicking off the Southeast show season this year is the Kingston Show with its traditional fare of horse related events and activities while the Pinnaroo Show is held on a Wednesday with Jack Russell Racing being one of the unique events held here. Callum Hann is scheduled to make an appearance at Keith amongst the lawn mower pulling event whilst a family atmosphere and a billy cart competition are expected at Mil Lel.
Meanwhile later in the month the Annual Schools Farming Challenge takes place at Coonalpyn, the dog high jump is a feature at Naracoorte, the fireworks display caps off two big days in Mt Gambier whilst motorcycle stunt riding is a Friday night feature at Penola. Into November and Millicent has a demo derby event, while the two day spectacular show at Bordertown features a motorbike muster and numerous produce and trading stalls.
Loxton, being the main show in the Riverland during this part of the season, is a two day event featuring many traditional show events and items, as well as the local singing talents and local dog obedience trials. For Yallunda Flat and Cummins, both on the Eyre Peninsula, these events provide a great opportunity for these small farming communities to get together to have some fun while reflecting on the year that has been.
Not to be outdone by those on the mainland, Kangaroo Island plays host to two country shows. Typically country shows have a unique culture associated with them, but when combined with South Australia's iconic island, visitors are in for a treat.
Kangaroo Island : 31 October
Parndana : 14 November
The Kangaroo Island Show at Kingscote provides visitors with a real treat of seeing most of KI in the one spot, with produce and events being the main items on display. By contrast the Parndana Show has an agricultural feel, and seeks to demonstrate activities and exhibit products more closely attuned with the land.