Excitement builds as 'cracking' 2019 Gympie Show arrives
THE infectious Gympie Show spirit was well and truly in the air yesterday as volunteers, stewards and exhibitors teamed up to make their final preparations for today's grand opening.
Pryde's Main Arena took shape as the showjumping qualifiers kicked off, while cattle farmers from around the region and further afield took to getting ready for competition judging starting this morning.
Gympie Show Society secretary and events co-ordinator Sarah Niemand said encouraging attendance figures, coupled with strong exhibit numbers, indicated a bigger and better show this year.
"Ticket sales are looking good, numbers are sitting above where they were at this time last year," Ms Niemand said.
"Traditionally the bulk of pre-sale tickets are sold the night before the show starts, so we're expecting a lot more numbers to come through.
"We've got more exhibitors, more patrons and more sponsors, so we're looking bigger and better than ever this year."
Ms Niemand said one slight hiccup had come in the form of a show ride, the Speed 2, being stuck between Sydney and Gympie.
She said the ride was expected to arrive in Gympie overnight and join other key features The Beast, The XXXL, The Spook Ghost Train, Soundwave and the ferris wheel.
Early weather predictions show the strong possibility of showers every day for the rest of the week, but Ms Niemand said that wouldn't dampen showgoers' spirits.
"There's only the possibility of light showers, so everyone should expect a perfect, comfortable day at the show.
"The odd shower will keep the dust down, and it won't be too cold at night time."
Among those getting into the showtime swing were the Burton family from Belli Park, who will be showing their cattle for the very first time.
"We've come with poultry before, (my husband) Allen's been showing poultry since he was a little kid, about 35 years ago," Michelle said.
"It's the process of producing the right progeny that you want to be able to show cattle. They've got to have the right features and the right structure.
"You've got to halter break them, they have to be led around even by the kids so they're quiet enough for the show. Today we wash them, brush them, groom them, get them used to the unfamiliar surrounds."
Early grand champions were crowned yesterday after stringent judging in the fruit and vegetable, art and craft and cookery sections.
Widgee farmers Gary and Madonna Waugh took out the overall grand champion exhibit for their selection of slenderette beans.
Show veteran Thelma Myers was awarded the cookery section grand champion for her date slice - the second time she has won the award for the same recipe.
Fellow show veteran, cookery section head and decorative cake first prize winner Anne Long said the award was well-deserved.
"It's an absolutely beautiful slice, we had a taste test last time," Ms Long said.
"We're pleased with the amount of nominations this year, especially from the kids."
The first Gympie Show events begin at 7:30am today with showjumping in Pryde's Main Arena.