Monday, September 6, 2010

A Fair Show

This past week was the Royal Adelaide Show--aka "The Show" by locals. Two years ago, with less than a week in Adelaide,  I met people who kept insisting I go to the 9 day event. When I asked for a description of The Show I was told about can't be missed amusement rides, tasty treats, and bags.  At the time, the description and the relatively high price tag didn't put the event on my must do list.  Then, last year, with a year of living in Adelaide under our belt, we understood that The Show was what we would call a Fair and consisted of more than deep fried food and roller coasters--though the concept of bags still baffled us. Finally we decided that since we live in a state built on agriculture we decided we needed to mosey on down to the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds for the annual event. 

We were not disappointed as we walked the barnyards and pavilions admiring the state's farmers prize-winning livestock and produce.  We sat in the crowds, cheering on competitions of beauty and strength, for man and beast--horse riding, dog shows, and wood chopping (just to name a few). We had our fill of demonstrations--cooking, sheep sheering, cattle milking and iron-smithing.  

We rounded out the agricultural part of the experience with gourmet food and wine tasting, live entertainment, and art shows. We also put an end to the bag mystery, as we were provided the opportunity to buy promotional themed plastic bags filled with items that ranged from  chips, to candy bars, to toys, to cosmetics. We topped off our Show experience with a walk around the carnival rides eating non-gourmet food.

Yesterday as I reflected on my confusion and conflicts between the seasons, I realized both my homeland and adopted hometown celebrate their annual agricultural event in September.  For those unfamiliar with Australia it may seem strange that an event based on agriculture occurs at the end of winter. However, in a country that suffers from extreme summer temperatures it is during the mild winters when crops are more easily grown and animals are bred. Back in the United States, State Fairs represent the fall harvest. It is a time to celebrate before entering the long cold winter, whereas in Australia The Show signifies the end of the rainy season and the start of the long hot days of summer.  So it doesn't matter if I am in Albuquerque or Adelaide, when September rolls around I can head to the Showgrounds for a Dagwood Dog.


  1. Hi Maya, it sounds like a very fun event. The geese with the cape and hat is so funny. Thanks so much for sharing and posting these great photos. :)

  2. In Auckland, we have the Easter show. It used to be free and I took my daughter to see farm animals.Now, it cost money to get in, my son is not interested.

    Glad you are enjoying Aussie way of life. I enjoy Queensland, may be you will like to go up there too.

  3. Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping in. I really enjoyed the displays and competitions. The dog did a great job of keeping the geese in line.

  4. Hi Ann, it makes sense to me to have a show at Easter time because of all of the animals (lambs, ducks, rabbits) used in celebrating the holiday--or at least they are used in the USA. My mother and I went to the Oregon State Fair a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun seeing all the animals.
    We are hoping to make it to Queensland soon. My husbands company has an office there, so hopefully we can a bit or a working holiday.

  5. This was neat to read. I listen to podcasts from Australia Radio and one of them is the South Australia Country Hour. They had a whole week reporting from the show including the woodcarvers! I loved seeing your photos to put a picture to the words.

  6. Hi Marta, I'll have to try and find the South Australia Country Hour while I am here in the States to keep up on what is going on back home. I'm glad you found the pictures helpful.