The organisers of the Manilla Show have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the annual event to make sure there is something for everyone.
Think fireworks, jousting, dogs shows and a wife carrying contest.
Tamworth councillor and show society president Jim Maxwell said this year there was a focus on keeping the show vibrant and fresh.
“There are quite a lot of shows bigger than us that have closed up, and we certainly want to buck that rend,” Cr Maxwell said.
Manilla Show secretary LouEllen Overton said it could be easy for things to “get a bit stale” and the show’s committee wanted to add more entertainment to the line up
“It’s still an agricultural show, but if you’re sitting in the grandstand there will be something happening in front of you all the time,” Ms Overton said.
She’s looking forward to a new event on Saturday, the sheaf toss.
“A sheaf is a weighted bag, and people toss it over a high structure with a pitch fork,” Ms Overton said.
“They did it way back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. We had to get a fella from Walcha who knows how to pull it all together.”
The fireworks will be held on Friday night, while Saturday night’s rodeo is always a big draw card.
A new addition to the show is a kid’s zone, which is filled with free entertainment including a petting zoo and a magician.
“We’ve done that so families can come to the show, and once they’re in the gate, they don’t have to have their hand in their pocket all the time,” Ms Overton said.
Manilla Show’s biggest fan
Cr Maxwell is quite possibly the Manilla Show’s biggest fan and has only missed the show “two or three times at the absolute most” in his lifetime.
“I was born on a Manilla Show day,” he said.
“I can’t swear to what ones I was at as a baby, but mum said I was at all of those.
“I was married on a show day as well – I was there on the Friday but the wedding was on the Saturday.”
Cr Maxwell is relieved the viaduct issue has been resolved.
It was fenced off by caretaker John Holland Rail, with show organisers concerned “prime trader spaces had been taken-up” and feared it could leave a bad taste in the mouths of travelling vendors.
“The viaduct really ties everything together and gives it that heritage effect,” Cr Maxwell said.