The great thing about the Royal Easter Show is that it is the same every year. It is one of the few institutions that gives a sense of familiarity and stability every year.

There is the deliciously unnutritional food, the sideshow alley rides that try to evacuate that food from your stomach and of-course the always crowd packed Showbag Pavilion, with most showbags selling this year for $32.

The soul of the Royal Easter Show is those events that are free. To see pigs, goats and poultry which often look alien-like is always a delight. Sheep shearing is nearby just as an Easter Show parade passes by. 

There are dog and bird breeding championships as well as cattle and horses.

In the arena there are polo matches and horse races whilst in the rodeo ring there are horsemen with lancers seeking to pick up objects and aiming at a bullseye. 

A perennial favourite, and one that always brings a smile to one’s face, is the fruit and vegetable and other produce artfully displayed as beautiful ‘murals’.

Adjacent to this pavilion is the Arts and Craft Hall where the creative efforts of farm ladies create a sense of wonder as one views cakes with spectacular patterns, embroidery, hand knitted, floppy dolls, clothed in  elaborate costumes also handmade, to name but a few.

State Government institutions have always participated in the show and this year the Police, marine rescue and emergency services stalls proved very popular. 

All this is augmented with a lovely display of truly skilfull paintings and photography works.

For me, the most exciting event, which also attracts large crowds, was the wood-chopping in its special arena. Teams from every state in Australia as well as international teams from the USA came together to display their prowess in competition which require brawn and precision axemanship.

The biggest show of its kind in Australia is now in its 204th year and I look forward to seeing more Royal Easter Shows in the years to come.

Text and photos by Ben Apfelbaum