IT’s all systems go for the 100th Bathurst Agricultural Show which takes place at the Bathurst Showgrounds from April 6 to 8, and the updates made to many of the most popular events are generating a lot of excitement among participants.
The show committee, under the leadership of Bathurst Agricultural Society (BAS) president Danny Wepener, met for its final meeting before the show begins at the showgrounds on Monday evening to hammer out the final details.
“It’s going to be the best show ever,” said Wepener, who was supported in his assertion by the other members present.
For example, the show is famous for its equestrian section that always features some of the best riders and horses from the province as well as from around the country. But this year there will be a derby as well as a show jumping event. Currently there are 82 horses and riders who will make the trip to Bathurst to take part in the events, and most of the classes are now full.
“The derby is creating quite a stir with the horse community,” said BAS lady president Pam Elliott, who is also the convenor of the equestrian events at the show.
There have also been many changes and improvements in the showgrounds itself, with new paving, new horse and cattle stalls, a revamp of the beer garden and a whole lot more. Wepener is pleased that, with just over a week to go, everything is ready for the show to begin.
Arrangements for the bars to be fully stocked, and with TVs set up so that visitors can refresh themselves, drink a beer or a wine and watch sport while they get ready for even more excitement at the show.
There will be almost 200 stands at this year’s show, but the committee made it clear at the outset that the stalls must support local hand-crafted goods and not the more mass-produced plastic items from outside the country.
As for entertainment, the Graeme College Steel Band will once again keep the visitors smiling and even dancing along to the Caribbean sounds, Armand the singing cowboy will keep the folks’ feet tapping and even singing along, Rod Tyson’s Zulu Dancers will be there as well as belly dancers children’s ballroom dancing and more.
There will also be the traditional Grand Parade, where visitors will see vintage and working tractors, vintage cars and animals marching through the showgrounds.
But, of course, it wouldn’t be an agricultural show (the province’s oldest and biggest agricultural show) without the animals.
This year there will be sheep shearing, a cattle auction, fowls, pigs and more, along with an enormous stock programme to look forward to.
“The society wishes to thank the public and all sponsors, helpers and volunteers of this as well as previous shows for their contributions and look forward to hosting the best Bathurst Agricultural Show ever,” said Wepener.