Every year, hundreds of stalls packed with things to see and buy pop up on the Bathurst Showgrounds like seedlings after the rain. New shoots has very much been the theme of the Bathurst Agricultural Society which has been step by step re-imagining and reshaping the magic that is the Bathurst Agricultural Show.
Calmly coordinating a small town’s worth of indoor and outdoor stalls and exhibition stands is Aschlee Hurn, who’s very excited about what the show will be offering this year.
There are traders and exhibitors who are firmly stitched into the fabric that show-goers love. They’ll be back, of course.
“This year, we’re excited to have a number of new vendors, and some who are returning after a year or two,” said Hurn.
With the grounds rearranged and infrastructure upgraded, stall holders and visitors are set to enjoy well organised, comfortable browsing and shopping for everything from tiny trinkets to tough as nails tractors.
Farmers will enjoy an overview of the latest trucks, tractors and implements in the outdoor heavy duty section.
With five big-brand car dealers bringing their showrooms to the grounds, there’s a good chance of meeting your perfect match if you’re in the market for your next set of wheels.
The outdoor commercial section will also feature a range of quad bikes, livestock management and handling systems, water tanks, solar systems, electric fencing, as well as lawnmowers, garden equipment and hardware.
Jewellery and clothing, as well as a home décor section offer browsing and buying to your heart’s content in the market section, which has returned to its original position near the BAS Members’ Bar. Look out for everything from lighting to basket-woven furniture and décor.
Stock up on olive oils, bottled sauces and spices, bags and shoes, garden furniture, amazing sculptures made from revived driftwood… and don’t forget the biltong!
Get down to earth at the new Country Market, where you will find only hand-made crafts and fresh produce.
If you’re new to the area, you should know that on and among the farmlands are some wonderful outdoor open spaces that are open to the public. At this year’s show, get a feel for the outdoor experiences that close neighbours, Three Valleys and Mansfield Private Reserve, can offer you as you explore Ndlambe and the Sunshine Coast.
Food – did we mention the food?
Start your day at one of the breakfast bars. They close at 10am, but if you’ve missed them don’t worry: there are at least two stands offering barista coffee, before you explore everything from waffles to bakery specialties and pies. Take your taste buds further, later on, with almost every kind of delicious meals, from chow mein to fish, calamari and chips.
Or stick to tried and trusted boerewors rolls, steaks, burgers or straight-up slap chips.
There is usually at least one very hot day during the show – but don’t worry, there’s plenty of cool refreshment: from flavoured crushed-ice drinks to fresh fruit juice. And the bars will be open if it’s a frosty you’re after.
Home and Garden competitions
Here’s a heads up to get your entries ready. Catalogues and entry forms are available from Home Industries and Holly House in Port Alfred, and The Workshop, Copy IT and the BAS office in Bathurst. Call Judy at 063-268-4549 for more information.
The Bathurst Agricultural Show is from March 22-24, 2024.