'Perfect end' to showground farewell at Tamworth Show 2017

ON SHOW: Rides keep punters happy at the Tamworth Show on Saturday night. Photo: Peter Hardin
ON SHOW: Rides keep punters happy at the Tamworth Show on Saturday night. Photo: Peter Hardin

Show’s success the ‘perfect way’ to farewell showground

IT WAS the perfect end to a decades-long chapter at the Tamworth Showgrounds as it hosted the annual show for the final time over the weekend.

The 144th show saw increased numbers through the gates, a spike in pavillion and stock entries, and a groundswell of community support over the two days.

Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association (TPAA) president Brett Nies said it was the strongest show in years, and a fitting way to farewell its current home.

It follows the sale of the showground last year, with TPAA passing ownership to Harness Racing NSW and moving the show to AELEC in September.

“It was just a really good feel,” Mr Nies said. 

“It was like 10 to 15 years ago, the buzz was amazing. The pavillion was huge. It was a big bee hive of activity, it was just humming with laughter and you could feel that sense of community.”

From sideshows to wood-chopping, snake handling to stunt riders, organisers believe the show will keep going from strength to strength when it moves to AELEC next year.

Tamworth Show 2017. Photo: Peter Hardin

Tamworth Show 2017. Photo: Peter Hardin

Youth steal the show

YOUTH was the key focus at the 144th show over the weekend, as a record number of kids rolled through the gates to learn more about agriculture. 

Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association (TPAA) president Brett Nies said the two-day show was the best in recent years, with 800 school-aged children invited to the opening day on Friday to give them a show experience they otherwise wouldn’t get. 

It was these local kids – “the future of the show” – who stumped up a record number of pavillion entries and helped improve numbers in the stock displays.

Rain may have deterred some showgoers on Friday, but Saturday was stronger than ever with horse and livestock events, wood-chopping displays and stunt riders. 

The show culminated in a rodeo and fireworks display Saturday night.

“We’re very happy with how the show went,” Mr Nies said.

“It’s an improvement on last year, which is what we’ve been working towards and in particular, the amount of school-aged children involvement.

“We’ve been trying as a committee to get more kids involved and interested in agriculture, and what it means to be a part of our community.”

We’ve been trying as a committee to get more kids involved and interested in agriculture, and what it means to be a part of our community.

TPAA president Brett Nies

“We’ve had increased numbers in the horse section, and nearly 30 axemen for the wood-chopping,” Mr Nies said.

“We had increased numbers in stud sheep, fat lambs and the same number of cattle and 300 chooks to be on par with last year.”

“The side shows were good, and it was a good (final night).”

The show was the last one to be held at the showground ahead of a move to AELEC.

“From my point of view, we are evolving into what we’re going to do next, and a move to AELEC (is part of that),” Mr Nies said.

“But it’s now time to jump on board, get involved and be a part of a big community event. It’s going to be really special, there is so much potential (at AELEC).”

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