CENTENARY: The Mary Valley Show turns 100 this year, and president Barry Grainger has been involved for 50 of those.
CENTENARY: The Mary Valley Show turns 100 this year, and president Barry Grainger has been involved for 50 of those. Renee Albrecht

Major milestone for Mary Valley Show

FOR the first time in the century its been running, the Mary Valley Show will have an official opening.

And it won't be just anyone firing the starter's gun or cutting the ribbon.

This year the Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey, will officially open the 100-year-old Show on August 17.

The Show was first held on November 19-20, 1919.

The Gympie Times covered the event and reported:

"The Show, held over two days had an estimated attendance of 2000 with gate takings of over 72 pound.

"This was considered satisfactory with membership of over 300.

"The committee had been rather liberal with their investigations and the special train from Gympie carried between 300-400 passengers.

"This was a satisfactory attendance on a fine but very warm day."

Since that illustrious event, there has been a Mary Valley Show in one form or another, regardless of world wars, every year.

Mary Valley Show president Barry Grainger said that even during the war years, a rodeo was the drawcard until 1947, when full programming began again.

Mr Grainger has been proudly associated with the Show Society for the last 50 years, eight of those as current president.

When he hangs up his hat for the final time, leaving the position in February, he hopes his 50-year legacy which began as a 15-year-old boy, will be continued with a new generation ready to carry the tradition forward.

The official opening is not the only change to come to the event in the past years.

This year extra rides will be provided in Side Show Alley and the dedicated sponsors rides will be free to children and patrons alike.

But apart from that, a good deal of what made the Mary Valley Show such a big drawcard on that warm summer weekend in 1919 remains with the Show revelling in its traditional roots.

Admired traditions such as the Mary Valley Show and its Society are built from community efforts mostly through unsung volunteers who ensure that standard of excellence is maintained, Mr Grainger said.

Highlights for this Show will include the rodeo with Centenary Open Bullock Ride and a Fireworks Spectacular sponsored by the Mary Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The Mary Valley Show will be held at the Imbil Showgrounds on August 17.

For more information head online to maryvalleyshow.com.au.

Gympie Times


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