Editorial: country shows have no future without young support

COUNTRY shows are the lifeblood of any small town. 

Nothing screams community more than a jam-packed few days showcasing all the best a country town has to offer.

A country show offers a community the rare chance to come together and share what they love most about the town they call home. 

Some might spend years preparing the perfect fleece, months soaking fruit for the perfect fruit cake and weeks dreaming up a winning flower display. 

Country shows are a staple event on the calendar of most small towns. 

And while the rain may have deterred some show-goers at Manilla’s 82nd annual show over the weekend, the three-day schedule was packed with something for everyone.

From pavilion competitions – artwork, cooking, photography, produce and horticulture – to horse-riding events, rides to show bags, pluto pups to pet parades, country shows allow everyone in the community the chance to get involved and put their best foot forward.

There are ute displays, farmers’ challenges and rodeos. 

Countless hours and tireless work goes into delivering a show for the entire community. It takes an army of volunteers to come together and keep the historical events rolling. 

But, as Manilla Show Society president Jim Maxwell said on Sunday, the future of country shows lies in the hands of younger generations. 

Mr Maxwell has served on the committee since 1963. 

His grandfather and both great-grandfathers were involved in the show.

Now, we need more young people to throw their hat into the ring and help out to keep history alive.

It is important we show support for events that bring us together, especially in the bush. Mr Maxwell is right when he said country shows play a very important role in any small town.

“It showcases our produce, horses and everything going with rural Australia,” he said.

“I think it amplifies our town and certainly gives people another social venue, which is very important in small towns.”

Show season is upon us, as Tamworth holds its 144th show this Friday and Saturday. Get involved and show your support.