THEY came from far and wide for this year’s Stroud Show, thanks to a timely bit of good fortune in weather, good organising, good advertising and a healthy dose of sympathy making it by all accounts the ‘biggest show ever’.
“We smashed our record at the gate by 25 per cent,” the show’s president James Harris said.
“On Saturday we gave out 3200 adult wristbands, and 1200 to the kids. They came from everywhere for it, to see a ‘real country show,’ he said, adding that by 1pm on Saturday he has to send a truck to Karuah to buy more bottles of water, and that they also bought the pub out of canned beer.
“We stripped everyone of everything,” he said.
Compared to last year’s turnout of 3000 all up, it proves the committee is certainly on the right track.
“We have a bit of everything, we’re an event, not just a show. We do wife carrying, ride on lawn mower racing... There’s a lot of stuff that your traditional country show won’t normally have. I think people appreciate that,” James said, citing many daytrippers from Sydney and the Central Coast.
With no serious accidents reported on the day, James said horse numbers were down fractionally as were produce entries but “it was an odd season” and the show was held much earlier than usual.
He also attributes the show’s success to the fact that the public wanted to support the show and help them rebuild the showground’s after the damage wrecked by last year’s April superstorm when over 300mm or rain landed in Mammy Johnsons Creek in 24 hours. The entire showground was inundated with 1800mm of high flood waters.
Four buildings remain in disrepair, but the showground management committee is working closely with Great Lakes Council to come up with a master plan that will cater for the 12 user groups who use the facilities.
“We hope to build a large multipurpose building. We’re looking at alternatives for the bar and chook pavilion – we had the chooks under the grandstand this year, but it was a little tight. So we’re looking at how to expand and do it better,” James, also chair of the ground’s management committee, said.
“It’s an exciting time to be on the show committee,” he concluded, adding that they just needed to get some grants as council hadn’t been insured for sport fields and showgrounds when the floods went through, but that the Show’s profits would also help.