Giant Ferris wheel owner Dean Davis stands with his appropriately oversized spanners in front of the massive ride, making its debut in Gympie today.
Giant Ferris wheel owner Dean Davis stands with his appropriately oversized spanners in front of the massive ride, making its debut in Gympie today. Craig Warhurst

Gympie District Show starts today

THE 122nd Gympie District Show bursts into life today and with the promise of mild, mostly fine weather, the best agricultural show outside of the Ekka is set to draw record crowds.

A last minute flurry saw a run-out of the “early bird” multi-day passes yesterday afternoon, said administrator Melanie Green, but substitute armbands were quickly sourced and sales didn’t skip a beat.

From today, single day passes will be on sale at the gate, Ms Green said, adding that all indicators were pointing to a very big show.

Growth and progress may have changed some aspects of life throughout the region, but the annual Gympie Show still represents the same things it did 100 years ago.

Thanks to generous sponsorship and an army of hardworking volunteers, Show Society president Graham Engeman said the show was once again able to maintain its high standards, top attractions and overall value.

Even show stalwarts like Mr Engeman are amazed at the growth of traditional aspects of the show such as Machinery Alley and Sideshow Alley.

And there’s always something new to impress the most jaded of visitors.

Fifth generation showman Dean Davis has hauled his massive 33 metre high Ferris wheel to Gympie for the first time.

The monster ride, imported from Italy and built by specialists Technical Park, weighs in at 63 tonnes.

Show patrons love it said Mr Davis. “There are 20 gondolas, all with perspex surrounds, which will give people a 360 degree panoramic view of Gympie.

People think it’s fantastic – and yes, it’s very high.”

As for the setting up, Mr Davis said it takes five blokes about two days to set up, with a couple of workers swinging off safety harnesses. (Acrophobiacs need not apply.)

While Mr Davis also owns the Zipper, he opted to add the giant Ferris wheel to his operation because he reckons there’s enough “white knuckle rides” around.

“This is a family ride, it’s new and easy on the nerves … not as intense,” he says, although he concedes there is more work in setting it up.

Single tickets are $7 or four for $25.

Outstanding displays in the pavilion of cookery, arts, crafts, photography, woodwork and local school work should not be missed.

A special treat is the decorated cakes, with a beautiful creation depicting Noah’s ark, made by Anne Bayntun taking out the coveted Grand Champion of the section.

Today’s ring program features horse and pony led-in classes, including the Supreme Champion led of the show, the stockman’s challenge, heavy horses, and a full day of showjumping with the exciting action of the six bar classes from 5.30pm.

Entertainment highlights are Showtime FMX, the car draw giveaway, dad’s favourite, the mechanical parade, Waltzing Matilda working dog show, HiLux Heroes, and the traditional and much loved Family Fireworks show.

Gympie Times


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