Sydney Royal Easter Show Part I
Posted on the 22nd April 2012
Agricultural shows are a very old tradition in Australia. Almost every town and city and some suburbs have an agricultural show once a year. They are an opportunity for farmers to show their produce and stock; craft workers, their wares; artists, their works and cooks, their goods.
The Sydney Royal Eater Show is held over 2 weeks at Easter. Once it always started the Friday before Good Friday and finished on Easter Tuesday, but as with so much these days, the schedule is now dictated by the timing of the School Holidays so that the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) can maximise the attendance of school kids and their gate takings!
City kids get to meet farm animals in the Farmyard Nursery at the Sydney Royal "When the Country Comes to Town".
The Sydney Royal is the largest show in Australia and is hailed as “when the country comes to town”. It’s a great opportunity for city folk to take a glimpse at what goes on in rural areas. Sydney-siders love it and flock through the gates in vast numbers every year. I’ve been going since I was a small child because my father and his father and Grandfather before him were members of the RAS, as I am today. You can apply to be a member of the RAS, but it’s much easier to born into it.
The Sydney Show Grounds were once located to the east of the city at Moore Park, but they outgrew the space. Then when Sydney gained the chance to host the Olympics it was decided to move the Show to the Olympic site at Homebush Bay and redevelop the show site as an entertainment and film studio precinct. It was sad to leave the heritage listed buildings of the old site, but the new venue is far roomier and more suited to the modern show.
There are too many aspects to the Sydney Royal to cover in one blog, so I’ll start this week and continue later. So I’ll start with the fun side of the show:
The traditional Merry-Go-Round one of the fun sides of the Sydney Royal
For a lot of kids, the side shows are the show, and they don’t get far past side show alley. There are rides for every taste. The only one that I’ll venture onto is the big slide, which was replaced this year with a multicoloured lanes and a travelator which transports riders to the top without the need to climb the stairs. For the more sedate there’s also the old fashioned Merry-go-round, but for the more adventurous there are gut churning Pirate Ships and Cha Chas and Space Needles. Not my cup of tea really!
Some of the more adrenaline pumping rides at the Sydney Royal. Not for me!!
Of course there are also chances to win stuffed toys and other prizes on various skill testers. There are the clowns with their bizarre swinging heads, shooting galleries and the opportunity to show how strong you are by hitting a target with a big mallet.
But this side of the show is a world away from the heart of what the Sydney Royal Easter Show is to me, so check my Blog next week to see the Rural side of the Sydney Royal.
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