The Ararat Show Society is gearing up for the 2019 Ararat Show this Sunday at the Ararat Showgrounds, to conclude the Golden Gateway Festival.
Show President, Gwenda Allgood said that those attending will get to enjoy tractor pull events, farm animals, horse events and the all-important rides and show bag trucks.
“I noticed that [rides have] started to arrive in Ararat already and there may be some different ones on board this year. We’re always quite surprised by the number of young ones that come,” she said.
“One day each year you can go into your own backyard and find all these incredible rides.”
The tractor pull is a unique part of the show and the region, particularly interesting local farmers. Children entertainers The Kazoos, compared to The Wiggles by many, are also performing to entertain the younger attendees.
The committee has had a smoother year preparing for the upcoming show after struggling to maintain a committee in 2018. An emergency meeting was called to ensure last year’s show went ahead when a lack of volunteers left it in doubt.
“Last year was a very rocky year and it wasn’t due to mismanagement, it was just a lack of volunteers,” President Allgood said.
“It’s been a bit easier this year due to the fact that we have been very fortunate to get government grants. It’s made a huge difference.”
“What we have also been able to do this year is put together so many volunteers from many other clubs. It’s just been wonderful.”
Groups such as Rotary are joining the effort to ensure the show goes ahead, keeping costs low so locals can enjoy the day.
“The Ararat Rotary Club have been supportive of us this year so that’s going to make a huge difference. They’re manning the gates for us and that’s always a huge task because people start arriving first thing in the morning. Without that help, we wouldn’t be able to survive,” Allgood said.
“Once you get into the show grounds the committee realises that you’re spending money so you can’t afford to be charging high prices at the gate and expect people to enjoy themselves when they get inside.”
The Rotary volunteers are helping the committee cut costs, passing that onto to ticket prices which will stay as low as possible.
“We’ve been able to pull it together very well this year, which I’m really happy about.”
Competitions are a major part of the event and Allgood ensures entries are going to be accepted until Sunday morning in range of categories – including art, photography, baking and poultry.
“The poultry judge this year is the actual president of the Poultry Association of Victoria so that lifts the bar for everybody,” she said.
Looking forward, the society is hoping to gain further interest from the younger generation when planning and running the annual show. Allgood admits that young people have busy lives but says it’s something that needs to happen to ensure the show survives.
“We have to encourage the younger generation to get involved because I’m afraid we’re starting to wear out. We need to be looking over the fence and say it’s in your hands.”
“We continue to try to recruit people because we know there are people out there that really could afford to give a few hours on show day to us. I think that it will survive because I think that this generation is so determined for it to happen.”
“Country shows are such an important connection for people and it’s a great opportunity for the city and the country to combine and that’s what it’s all about, showing off what we are able to achieve.”
The Ararat Show Society will have a caravan set up out the front of Something Beautiful in Barkly Street this Friday for anyone with questions. Tickets are $5 for 5-16yrs, $10 for those over 16 and $15 for a family of four. The show starts at 9am and ends at 3pm on Sunday, October 27.
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