The Royal Queensland Show or ‘The Ekka’ as it is fondly known has been a tradition in Brisbane for 140 years. Growing up in Sydney, we always went to the ‘Royal Easter Show’ each year, however having lived in Brisbane now for over 30 years I have only been to The Ekka twice. The last time was when my son was in first grade at school and I went with his class.
As part of my 60th birthday celebrations, my Saturday Sisters thought it was time for me to revisit some childhood memories. They go every year and so I put myself in their hands and off we went.
Meeting at 8:30am we caught the bus and walked to the Exhibition Grounds. Gates open at 9am and because we were going on a public holiday it was crowded!!!
First stop was a coffee and toasted ham & cheese sandwich to fortify us for the day. It was delicious. We walked around the first pavilion where different stalls were selling food and were having tasting sessions.
Next stop was over to the Craft area which included Cake Decorating, Crochet, Cake baking and Art & Photography. I marveled at the sugar flowers that looked so real yet were made just from icing sugar – amazing and talented people.
I have always loved the displays of produce where farmers display their fruit and vegetables usually with a theme. I’ve never seen pumpkins so big!!!
After some inspiration for my next cake decorating project, we moved to take our seats for the Fashion Parade. This showcases new and experienced designers all using materials made from Australian Natural Fibres. The theme this year was ‘Back to Nature’ and designers used materials such as cotton, wool, bamboo and silk.
Still full from our breakfast and taste testing, we decided on the famous Strawberry Ice Cream for a snack. This is a ‘must do’when visiting the Ekka but I had never tried one. An ice cream cone with fresh strawberries in the bottom, then scoops of straweberry ice cream, topped with cream and strawberries. I’m not usually a strawberry fan but this was delicious!
A visit to the Ekka is not complete without seeing the baby farm animals in the Animal Boulevard where you can get up close and personal with the animals. You can pat a pig, cradle a chick or see some sheep shearing. It was pretty crowded so we didn’t really get to see it all. It is a little like Noah’s Ark with Alpacas to Cows to Sheep to Horses and all other farm animals in between on show.
The Ekka is a time for country folk to show their skills and there are many events to be entered. To receive a Best in Show award is highly prized.
Of course, there is always the Show Bags to buy and Side Show Alley but I just walked through those as to me that isn’t what the Ekka is about.
Final stop was the wood chopping and the main arena which always has something happening.
I left my friends at 3pm exhausted but they were carrying on into the night to see the fireworks.
It was certainly a fun day and maybe I might even start making it a tradition to go each year.
Do you have something similar where you live?
Let’s Keep Sizzling!