Those who grew up in Orange – or any country town for that matter – know the importance of agricultural shows.
It’s a showcase and meeting point for the whole community and it’s one event that usually has a deep integration in the town or city’s history.
The nature of country shows has evolved over the years, and ours is no exception, and the Orange Show Society should be commended for breathing life into our version in a time when many of the region’s and state’s longest-running shows have ceased to exist
In an effort to keep the show relevant, organisers have ensured the agricultural- and competition-based events haven’t been forgotten, while at the same time drawing a wide variety of new attractions to Orange Showgrounds that ensure families will keep walking though the gates and reaching into their wallets and purses.
In addition to being an immense undertaking, this organisation is a delicate balancing act, because people attend the show for different reasons and all expect to be catered for.
For some, the weekend is about showcasing the finest wares their land and endeavours can produce, be they jams and preservatives, sheep and cows, quilts and embroidery, or any of the hundreds of other categories of goods judged at the show.
For others – most of them youngsters – it’s nothing more than an opportunity fill their bellies with fairy floss and Chiko Rolls before spinning their minds and bodies on as many rides as mum and dad can be convinced to fork our for.
Many want to at the main ring and watch the horse riding and animal judging competitions unfold before their eyes.
With the passing of time, the older generations delight in watching their show-going traditions be passed on to their own children.
Regardless of what draws you there, it’s fair to say the Orange Show ignites the senses: The smells of the food, animals and flowers; the sounds of children squealing in delight; the sight of rides’ lights whirring before your eyes in a blur.
We attend the show for different reasons, but the most important thing is that we attend, because there’s a host of towns and villages with discontinued shows that demonstrate what happens when you take them granted.
Congratulations to those who helped keep this tradition alive on the weekend.