IT will be the end of an era, but the start of an exciting chapter, as Tamworth braces to host its last show at the showground this weekend.
The bumper two-day show kicks off on Friday morning, boasting everything from animal displays to pavillion entries, wood-chopping to rodeo, rides to showbags and everything in between.
The 144th show will be the last one held at the current site, following the sale of the showground last year, with Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association (TPAA) passing ownership to Harness Racing NSW.
From 2018, the annual show will be held at the AELEC in September rather than March.
TPAA president Brett Nies said this year’s show had a community focus, and that new entertainment and events had been added to the schedule to ensure there was something for everyone.
Already, the showgrounds are a hive of activity, as rides were setting up, food and show carts rolled in and pavillion entries unpacked on Tuesday ahead of showtime on Friday.
Tamworth Show committee member Glenn Morgan said country shows played an important role in bringing the community together and preserving the agricultural heritage of country towns.
“We’re very passionate about the unique traditions and heritage being lost,” he said.
“It’s important to get involved in local shows to educate young country children what it was like in yesteryear.
“A great deal of thought goes into the educational side of agricultural shows, like the sheep shearing, dog trials.”
The rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights also promises to be a crowd-pleaser with Quirindi’s Darren Clarke – who's bagged multiple national bareback titles and competed in the world’s biggest event in America five times over – coming out of a three-year retirement to compete in the Don Willis Arena on Saturday night.
“We’ll have some of the toughest cowboys competing at the show,” Mr Morgan said.
“Stock will be supplied by Gill Brothers. We’ll have bucking bull of the year, Eye Candy, and saddle bronc of the year Moves Like Jagger, voted at the national finals in January as Australia’s rankest rodeo stock.”
In the pavillion, competition is also heating up and entries stronger than ever.
“Last year, the art returned after an eight-year break and we’ve doubled our art entries on last year,” chief steward Janelle Tongue said.
“The school art provides a colourful backdrop to our pavillion and is always well-supported by schools in our district.
“It’s our last show here so let’s make it a great one to put down in the memories.”