I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published January 15th 2013
Escape The City & Celebrate Our Rural Heritage
Whether we're young or old, rich or poor, city slickers or country folk, an outing to our local annual show is part of just about every Australian childhood. Agricultural shows epitomise the best of old-fashioned Aussie country life - proud farmers exhibit their prized livestock, housewives compete against each other in various cooking and craft competitions, and far-flung neighbours gather together to catch up on the latest news.
For city people, a visit to a country show provides the opportunity to see farm animals 'up close and personal', while kids especially relish the vibrant carnival atmosphere, the wild rides and the sweet, sticky fairy-floss. Regardless of who we are and where we're from, for most of us, Showtime is a magical time of the year when good times are shared with loved ones and memories are etched which last a lifetime.
Agricultural shows in Western Australia have a proud heritage. During the early years of colonial settlement they were conceived of as country fairs, and modelled after those which had been held in England for centuries. The tradition began in 1831 when the Agricultural Society of Western Australia was formed, followed three years later by their first Annual Fair and Cattle Show. By the end of the nineteenth century, almost forty agricultural societies existed throughout the colony.
The Minister of Lands, Mr Thorn, opening the first Gidgegannup Show in 1946. Image is from the Gidgegannup Perth Hills website.
Over a century later, these societies, many of which are situated in isolated parts of our immense state, live on and most rural communities, both large and small, hold a show every year without fail. Despite the passing of the years and society's many changes, agricultural shows have evolved into dynamic local events which are just as relevant today as they were during days gone by. Therefore, if you're looking for a beaut family outing that the whole family will enjoy and an opportunity to escape the rat-race of city life for a day or a weekend, these fun and feel-good community events may be just what you're looking for.
The following is a list of the agricultural shows which are to be held throughout Western Australia during 2013. To confirm these dates and get further details, call the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia on 08 6263 3100 or email them on [email protected].