The Tamworth Show has had a “fantastic” start in its new venue, the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre.
That’s according to Tamworth P&A president Greg Townsend, who acknowledged there were improvements to be made for next year’s event but said work had already started on that.
Although the totals wouldn’t be available until later in the week, he said: “We’re looking at more numbers than we’ve seen at the Tamworth Show in 15 years.”
“That’s based on ex-presidents stating it and people saying it that have been involved for years.”
Mr Townsend said the main criticism had been fewer attractions from the showmen’s guild.
“But we’ve got to crawl before we can walk,” he said.
“Being a new venue, we are out of sync with their runs, so we … had to prove it to them we’d have a fairly successful show – and they have found that, so we anticipate it will be bigger next year.”
Other challenges had been where to put different attractions and vendors, and making the set-up as convenient and safe as possible.
“We have to do everything 100 per cent correctly now; we can’t go twitching rails together anymore,” he said.
“It’s a council-owned facility and everything does have to do be done with all the accreditations and everything.”
Some perks of the new venue were that most things were undercover, and one of Tamworth’s flagship assets could be shown off to people who might never have been.
“It went very, very well – the Tamworth P&A could not be happier.”
Scott McMillan of Daruka went to the show on Saturday with his wife Kathy, and their son and his friend, who are seven and six.
“We’ve had a great time,” Mr McMillan said.
“We’re doing it for the kids, but I really enjoyed the shearing this morning, then the rouseabouting and the wool-rolling was really interesting to see. – even the kids thought so.”
Loomberah & District Rural Youth Club parent adviser Karlie Tongue said Friday had been a bit quieter, but the second day had been “so much busier”.
She said that, with all the displays, activity and live music, it was “a real carnival atmosphere”.
“People are excited to see where everything is and how it’s all going to work.”
Tamworth Poultry Club treasurer Peter Smith said the group’s first year at AELEC had been “great”.
“We didn’t know how it might work out,” he said.
“We had more than 300 entries for this show, which is about the same as other years …
“There’s been a constant flow of people, both days.
“It’s a bit of trial and error, but I think everyone is pretty happy with how it is.”