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.
Loads Of Family Fun For Half The Price
Once upon a time, long before the advent of the internet and computer games, local fairs and agricultural shows were events that entire communities, both the young and the old, would anticipate with excitement throughout the year. Originating in the Old World, they were popular community events that provided local farmers with the opportunity to show off their livestock and produce, and invariably included market vendors and various forms of live entertainment: jugglers, folk musicians or perhaps a travelling theatrical troupe. They provided a much-welcome break from the back-breaking toil and monotony of life on the land, were an opportunity to socialise with friends and provided young single people the opportunity to find and court a marriage partner.
Laughing clowns are always a sideshow alley favourite
In the early years following the British colonisation of Australia, agricultural societies were some of the first institutions to be established and these were responsible for the organisation of the first agricultural shows throughout the country. Here in Western Australia the first show, the Fair and Cattle Show, was held in Guildford way back in 1834, just five years after the Swan River Colony was established.
Almost 200 years later, country shows are still an important part of Western Australia's local culture and the Perth Royal Show attracts an annual attendance of over 400,000 visitors: pretty good for a city with a total population of 1.9 million people. Not nearly as large, but equally important to the small regional communities dotted around this vast state, are dozens of small country shows. From the remote settlements of the tropical far north to the picturesque farming towns of the south-west, for most Western Australian communities the local show is a chance to celebrate the rural lifestyle and to connect with each other.
There is always something interesting to watch at the show
Country shows are not only heaps of fun for local people but are also very enjoyable for city families who want to experience a taste of genuine Australian rural life. Much cheaper than the large flashy events held in the city, they provide down-to-earth affordable fun for everyone from the littlest children to the most elderly grandparents. There are loads of animals for the littlies to look at, handicrafts and cookery exhibits for homemakers, demonstrations of wood-chopping and other traditional rural skills, and plenty of sideshows and rides for the thrill-seekers.
Prize-winning home preserves on display
Throughout the year agricultural shows are held all around Western Australia, with quite a few of them only an hour or two away from Perth. Whether you're looking for a fun side-trip during a school-holiday camping adventure or simply a bit of old-fashioned family entertainment on the weekend, country shows really can't be beaten. The following is a list of shows that are scheduled to be held throughout Western Australia during 2014. Pack the car, grab the kids and experience one of Australia's favourite traditions.
Friday March 28 - Saturday March 29: Harvey Agricultural Show
Saturday March 29: Mount Marshall & Districts Agricultural Show
Friday April 4 - Saturday April 5: Kalgoorlie Boulder Community Fair
Friday April 11 - Saturday April 12: Kalamunda & Districts Agricultural Show
Saturday April 12: Bunbury Agricultural Show; Merredin & Districts Agricultural Show; Williams Gateway Expo
Saturday April 19 - Sunday April 20: Donnybrook Apple Festival
Saturday April 26: Balingup Small Farm Field Day
Saturday May 3 - Sunday May 4: North West Expo
Friday May 16 - Sunday May 18: Carnarvon Festival
Sunday May 25: Experience Gidgegannup
Friday July 11 - Saturday July 12: Kununurra Agricultural Show
Saturday August 2 - Sunday August 3: Karratha - Lions FeNaCl Festival
Saturday August 16: Beverley Agricultural Show; Perenjori & Districts Agricultural Show
Saturday August 23: Dalwallinu & Districts Agricultural Show
Wednesday August 27 - Thursday August 28: Dowerin GWN Field Days
Saturday August 30: Mullewa Agricultural Show; Yilgarn Agricultural Show
Wednesday September 3 - Thursday September 4: Newdegate Machinery Field Days
Saturday September 6: Chapman Valley Agricultural Show; Kellerberrin & Districts Agricultural Show; Koorda & Districts Agricultural Show, York Agricultural Show
Friday September 12 - Saturday September 13: Northam Agricultural Show
Saturday September 13: Carnamah - North Midlands Agricultural Show; Corrigin Agricultural Show; Northampton District Agricultural Show
Saturday September 20 - Sunday September 21: Moora - Central Midlands Agricultural Show
Saturday September 27 - Saturday October 4: Perth Royal Show
Saturday October 11: Dardanup Bull & Barrel Festival; Quairading Agricultural Show; Tambellup Agricultural Show; Toodyay Agricultural Show; Waroona Agricultural Show
Friday October 17 - Saturday October 18: Esperance & Districts Agricultural Show; Kelmscott Agricultural Show; Margaret River & Districts Agricultural Show
Saturday October 18: Bindoon & Districts Agricultural Show; Kojonup Pastoral & Agricultural Show
Saturday October 25: Brunswick Agricultural Show; Gidgegannup Agricultural Show; Katanning Agricultural, Pastoral & Horticultural Show
Friday October 31 - Saturday November 1: Busselton - Southern Districts Agricultural Show; Canning Agricultural; Horticultural & Recreational Show
Saturday November 1: Mount Barker Agricultural Show
Tuesday November 4: Upper Blackwood Agricultural Show
Friday November 7 - Saturday November 8: Albany Agricultural Show
Saturday November 15: Collie Agricultural Show; Swan View & Districts Agricultural & Arts Show
Saturday November 22: Bridgetown Agricultural Show
Friday November 28 - Saturday November 29: Wanneroo Agricultural Show
Friday December 5 - Saturday December 6: Osborne Park Agricultural Show