I went to my first ever Royal Easter Show yesterday. I found myself waxing nostalgic for something that actually wasn’t part of my own childhood. For those of you who don’t know what the Easter Show is – (feel free to double check the facts, this is purely my interpretation!) it’s an annual show put on by the Royal Society of Agriculture to showcase livestock, plants, performances (like rodeo, showjumping), animals, etc. It grew out of rural shows from another time.

It’s become so commercial – I heard that the showbags were once free! After you’ve paid $20-$30 for admission then you can pay $15-$20 for a bunch of crap (blow-up Cartman dolls, fuzzy hats, gags, etc.) that will probably just end up in a landfill, pay for overpriced fried food and ride the overpriced carnival rides to help you purge the fried food! How could the families the show is intended for actually afford to go? How much garbage was being created by the show?

I’m making it sound very negative, but what I actually want to say is that I really enjoyed the show… I avoided the really commercial stuff, like “Showbag Hall” and watched all the really keen performers. It was great to hear the enthusiasm of the dog owners whose dog was in the show and to talk to the father whose little girl was in the pony show. I even enjoyed “Lady Cannonball” and “Space Cowboy” the sword swallower because they were really excited about making a show for the audience. The real heart of the show and the people who really got into the spirit of the show really made it. And there were groups of teenagers, adults, young kids, and oldies all getting into the show. From the woodchopping, the rodeo, the freestyle motor cycle stunts, the divers and the sideshow acts there was almost something for everyone.

divers

I wish I had been able to see the show 20 years ago when it was probably more of the stuff that “made the show” and less of the other stuff. We’ve become such an “instant gratification”, commercialised society – the Easter Show isn’t part of my tradition ( and I may not go back again ), but I hope that the spirit of this tradition doesn’t die. I can imagine what it used to be… and and I hope that bit of it doesn’t get consumed.

Melissa, 35, Sydney

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