The Orbost Show is celebrating 111 years this coming Monday, March 9, with the biggest show in decades and free entry thanks to a drought recovery donation from East Gippsland Shire.
All the regular attractions plus many more new ones will be at this year’s show as it returns to the Newmerella Recreation Reserve rounding up three days of solid action over the Labour Day long weekend.
“There are more people wanting to come to book a stand in the trade space. We’ve got people coming from all over to sell their wares. I think it’s after the fires they’re coming to support us”. Orbost Agricultural Society secretary, Helen Ryan, said.
“A big thing for us is that the shire has helped us out with some funding that means there will be no entry fee at the gate. We can’t make anything cheaper, we need to cover costs, so it’s great to have free entry. Hopefully there will be families out there that will think ‘let’s go to the show for a great day out’.”
Helen said all “the usuals” will be there, with the wipe out wall, obstacle jumping castle and pet parade again on the show program.
“We don’t know until the day how many, but we’re hoping to have a good lot of cattle there. The Delegate Bullock team will be here for the first time, which will be a real treat.
“Bands will play all day, there will be carnival folk and show bags.
“The army did a wonderful job before they left after the fires. Some of them stayed at the rec reserve instead of Lochiel Park and they really cleaned the place up, grading and getting rid of rubbish, replacing a tap. They were just wonderful.
“I think it might be a big show for us this year.”
Being a good old-fashioned agricultural show, there will be dairy goats, poultry, fat cattle, dairy cattle, stud beef cattle and junior handler and calf rearing competitions.
Back over in the pavilion there will be cookery competition displays, handwork, sewing, craftwork and art, photography and woodcraft.
Produce competitions will include homegrown vegetables, fruit, honey, hay bales, and keeping with tradition, plenty of pumpkins.
Peruse the blooms of the flower entries, the floral art and pot plants that will also be on show in the pavilion. Orbost Garden Club will also be conducting a scarecrow and sunflower competition with entries accepted from any age group and using any materials.
Miss Showgirl and Master Showboy will continue as a tradition of the Orbost Show. Fees and entry forms can be dropped off at the Snowy River Mail office by Friday, March 6, or you can enter at the secretary’s office before 10am on show day.
The Orbost Show will kick off at the Newmerella Recreation Reserve at 8.30am with action in the horse arena, the pavilion opens at 9am, the calf rearing and junior handling competition will take place at 10am, which will be when the chops start flying in the woodchop and the dairy goats will be on show. At 10.30am the showgirl and showboy judging will take place, at 11am the stud beef and dairy cattle will be judged, and at midday the giant pumpkins will be weighed in. The pet parade will take place at 1pm with gates closing at 5pm.
On the equestrian side of things, ringmaster, Debbie Woerz, is looking forward to another great show day in the horse arena.
“We’ll again have our two major events in the morning with the Supreme Saddle Horse Challenge and the Supreme Ridden Show Hunter challenge,” she said.
“These will be highly contested this year. We’ve got lots of entries so we expect it to be a big competition.
“We’ve also got lots of judges travelling for the show, so that’s great too.”
The horse events will also include a beginner ring, harness, Australian stockhorses and showjumping.
The show’s equestrian events on Monday will follow a full program of horse activities as the Orbost Pony Club conducts horse trials this Saturday and gymkhana on Sunday.
East Gippsland Shire Council mayor, Cr John White, said council was delighted to be able to support the Orbost and district community with funding to offset gate entry prices for this year’s Orbost Show.
“Council’s support of the show $10,000 as part of a wide range of drought support and programs is recognition that events such as the local show are an important community event,” Cr White said.
“East Gippsland has been doing it tough with more than three years of drought and now bushfires, so to be able to assist in this way we hope can take the pressure off organisers and the community, even just for a day or two.
“The show has a long and proud history in Orbost and I know the organising committee has again put in a huge amount of work to put on the event.
“We hope council’s offer of free entry means the community can get out and support the volunteers who have put in countless hours organising the show weekend, have a day out, catch up with old friends, maybe learn something new, or appreciate the hours of effort by individuals in preparing horses for equestrian events, completing craft projects to exacting standards, growing flawless fruit, vegetables, flowers and other produce for the pavilion, or even check in at some of the special events on the program.
“Show day is always a great day and I wish the Orbost Agricultural Society all the best for a great 2020 event.”
There is something for everyone at this year’s Orbost Show. Come learn, eat, see, hear, feel, smell, taste and share in the amazing things East Gippsland has to offer. Whether you’re there for agriculture, entertainment, rides, food or fun, there is a range of all-inclusive, interactive attractions and activities for everyone to enjoy.
IMAGE: All the fun of an agricultural show returns to the Newmerella Recreation Reserve this Labour Day, Monday, March 9, for the 111th Orbost Show, and this year it’s for free. (PS)