JIM Maxwell is the ultimate showman.
He was born on Manilla show day, picked up his wife on show day and got married on show day.
“And that was the only show I’ve ever missed in my life,” he said.
The Manilla Show Society president has served on the committee since 1963, and was one of hundreds of locals to roll out for the annual 82nd Manilla Show over the weekend.
“It’s been a very good show,” Mr Maxwell said on Sunday.
“The show is a very, very important part of any small town.
“It showcases our produce, horses and everything going with rural Australia.
“I think it amplifies our town and certainly gives people another social venue, which is very important in small towns.”
Mr Maxwell – whose great-grandfathers both played roles in the show and whose grandfather served on the original committee – said country shows were the lifeblood of most small towns.
It might have been a wet start to the action on Saturday morning, but it couldn’t dampen spirits as yard dog trials got under way, followed by horse events, a ute show, the young farmers’ challenge and rodeo.
Rides may have come to a halt on Sunday morning, but it was a jam-packed day of horse events before the exhibits came to a close that night.
Manilla and District Garden Club president Dianne Kneipp said the horticultural entries were strong this year considering the record heatwave that hit the region over the summer.
“It’s very good considering the bad weather,” she said.
“We usually have twice as many dahlias, but the heat beat most of them.”
Armidale’s Darryl Burton dominated the horticulture pavilion with 51 entries, stumped up by an impressive display of dahlias, while Bruce Kneipp took out champion rose.
The cooking section was also hotly-contested, with two-year-old Georga Abra taking out a category with her biscuits, proving you’re never too young to start.