2018 Manilla Show best in 20 years, organisers say

A DUMPING of much-needed rain, record crowds, sold-out vendors, and even a marriage proposal –  the 2018 Manilla Show was the biggest organisers have seen in decades.

Show society president and Tamworth councillor Jim Maxwell said the committee’s family-friendly focus and revival of old events helped the two-day show pull huge crowds over the weekend.

“It was fabulous,” Cr Maxwell said on Sunday.

“Everyone sold out of goods and chattels. The ice cream stand sold out, the Lions Club sold out, the bar sold out.

“I reckon it’s the biggest show we’ve had in 20 years or more. It’s been unreal.”

The show featured all the usual trimmings of a country show, but also boasted fireworks, jousting, dog shows, a wife-carrying contest, a sheaf toss, rodeo and a campdraft “to make sure there was something for everyone”.

“It was a huge campdraft,” Cr Maxwell said.

“We haven’t had one in years. The rodeo on Saturday night was also huge.

“The last ride of the night, he rode for eight seconds.

“When he was being asked how it felt when he was collecting his prize, he asked his girlfriend to come down and he proposed to her.”

Cr Maxwell said a dumping of 70mm of rain three weeks ago right over the showground also added to the show’s success.

“It looked a picture, and everyone was in good spirits,” he said.

Cr Maxwell praised the work of John Holland Rail, Tamworth Regional Council and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson in resolving the viaduct issue ahead of the show.

“We were very concerned about our show, but they did a marvellous job sorting it,” Cr Maxwell said. 

“It was the icing on the cake.”