Celebrating 70 years of the Hamilton Show

Posted on March 29th, 2023 by Jo Bailey

Country shows are, and always have been, at the heart of regional communities.

The annual ‘Show’ brings together famers, growers, producers, families and community members to showcase their produce, livestock and skills. But perhaps more importantly, the Show provides a chance to celebrate achievements, relationships and the sense of community.

The Hamilton District Agricultural Show is a perfect example of this. And having recently celebrated a 70th anniversary, there is no doubting the importance and value of the Show.

WLF has been a proud sponsor of the Hamilton Show consistently for 35* years, and we’ve seen it grow and change with the times but always remain true to what a country show should be.

This year the Hamilton Show attracted more than 2000 patrons, with a combination of locals and visitors to the area.

Joanna Jones, who manages sponsorship for the event and has been on the committee for 19 years and says the Show remains a key focal point on the local calendar each year.

“Our committee is really proud of the history and longevity of the Hamilton District Agricultural Show,” says Joanna. “In addition to the social benefits for locals, the Show also attracts people from all over the state and it’s wonderful to be able to showcase our community and what we do.

A blend of contemporary and traditional activities

“We had local artisans selling jewellery, leather goods and homewares. It’s a great addition to sit alongside the traditional Show activities such as shearing demonstrations, show jumping, cattle mustering and our popular animal nursery.”

“Sideshow alley was as popular as ever – it always makes me smile to see a new generation of young children looking eagerly at the prize wall as they feed ping pong balls to moving clowns!

“For the bigger kids – and plenty of adults as well – the rides and dodgem cars will always be a drawcard. And this year we had the giant tea-cup ride again, which is so much fun for younger kids.”

Joanna also highlights the value from a networking and knowledge sharing perspective.

Sharing the importance of our agricultural industries

“It’s great to have a set day for farmers, growers, and agricultural enthusiasts to come together, share knowledge, and learn about the latest developments in the industry.

“It’s also a chance for the wider community to engage with and learn about the importance of agriculture and the role it plays in our daily lives.

“There was so much to see this year, but also plenty of areas to sit, relax and have a chat over a latte and lemon slice, or the show staples of a donut or a steak-sandwich.

“Our show committee barbecue in the hospitality shed featured live music and did a roaring trade through until closing time.” Joanna also notes the vital role that volunteers play in any type of community event, and the Show is no different.

“It’s great how a community pulls together and volunteers their time for our Show each year. Members from the Bothwell Lions Club, local schools, Gretna Fire Brigade, and Derwent Pony Club provide help in the lead up and on the day. Then countless helpers to keep bathrooms clean, serve food and beverages, wash up and run attractions” she says.

“Everyone’s life gets so busy – regardless of whether you’re in urban or rural location. To take time out of your own schedule and give back to the community is a pretty special thing to do. Lucky for us, it’s something that our Hamilton community is really good at and so the Show can go on!”

* 35 years consistently, with a gap due to the COVID pandemic when the Show couldn’t go ahead.


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Celebrating 70 years of the Hamilton Show

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