Country Shows

12th Feb 2024

I rise to celebrate the return of Country Shows.

While Sydneysiders look forward to the Royal Easter Show each year, it is the country shows which truly showcase the virtues of regional and rural NSW.

Where I live in Guyra in Northern NSW our show is coming up on the 16th and 17th of February celebrating its 116th anniversary.

Watch the video here

February is certainly the month for country shows around the state. Within the next two weeks we will see shows in: Glen Innes, Dunedoo, Cobargo, Nowra, Henty, Crookwell, Oberon, Bega, Gundagai, Kangaroo Valley, Gulgong, Maitland and Ashford.

What better way to showcase how rural and regional NSW is the life blood of the state when it comes to bountiful produce.

Country shows are an ingrained part of Australian society, with the first one held in Hobart in 1822, then Sydney the following year and spreading to 580 regional shows throughout the country.

I love the annual show in Guyra.

One of the highlights is the long lunch which includes cooking displays using local produce, and our famous men’s cake cooking and decoration competition.

It’s a hoot. Already the local’s social media is flooded with baking and decorating content in the lead up to the event.

The men who enter the event are fiercely competitive with a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude and we love it.

I tend to believe that for these blokes it’s a form of therapy. It’s great that they have an opportunity to embrace a softer side with the talk in pubs, clubs and saleyards turning to frosting, buttercream and how to achieve the fluffiest sponge cake!

The reality is these country shows and this competition in particular highlights a healthy creative outlet and the chance for the community to come together and celebrate all the reasons why we choose to live a rural lifestyle.

I would like to place on the record that the continuation of these country shows is thanks to the tireless efforts of many selfless volunteers.

They are great community events for all, young and old alike.

In short, it’s a great time to let your hair down, unwind and take your mind off the farm for a few days and celebrate all things agricultural.

It’s a time when one can enjoy friendships and participate in a myriad of events and competitions: from shearing to show jumping, wool, photography, art and craft, flowers, the wood chop, working dogs, cattle, poultry, goats, pigs, vegetables, pickles and jams, and the usual entertainment.

I encourage everyone to embrace their local country show this year.

A day at the show is a great day out and goes to show – that you can have your cake and eat it too!

Aileen MacDonald OAM MLC