A Frugal’s Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

We were talking the other day about what’s been lost as we move to an ‘app-focused’ economy.
Do kids today know where the eggs they eat come from, besides from the supermarket?  Do they care?  ‘Just click an app on your smart phone’ and the things you want magically appear.
That’s what the Sydney Royal Easter show aims to address: ‘City meets Country’, allowing the rural communities of Australia to be celebrated once a year.
‘The Royal’, as it’s known to exhibitors, is the largest event in Australia, attracting over 800,000 people each year.  Held over 2 weeks through the Easter long-weekend, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is something most Australians have experienced at least once in their lifetime. Most people I know in Australia go every single year.
I couldn’t wait to go again!
There is something for everyone here as the show comprises elements of Agricultural exhibitions, judgings and amusement park.  Here are just a few of the things available at the Royal Easter Show:
Chicken washing (yes, you read that correctly). Learn that there is a proper way to wash and blow dry a chicken.
Sheep shearing with old fashioned clippers. It’s not for the faint of heart, it gets a little bloody.
Wood chopping– Thank goodness this one wasn’t bloody.  The axes the guys sling are as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel and they get damn close to their toes.
Chick hatching—Awwww, cute.
Pig Pens—I smell bacon!  Actually, the piglets here were very cute.
Art & Photography Exposition—Some of the landscapes were museum quality. (At least in my humble opinion).   Such talent!
Fabric and Quilting and Paper Art exhibitions—Some exquisite detail kept us in stitches (Rich’s pun…just saying’).  It made me seriously think of submitting some of my own scrapbook pages and photography for judging next year.
The show is designed to illustrate the importance of Agriculture to our society.  People old and young have the opportunity to learn about really happens to get food on the table.  About $7 million annually is invested in agriculture programs, education, youth, and rural NSW in support of our rural communities and keeping farming practices safe and efficient.
That makes us feel good about the $100 we dropped on the day.
Entrance tickets were $78 including public transportation so it could have easily been a lot more for us.
I ‘splurged’ on a “Pluto Pup” (also known as a Dagwood Dog or Corn Dog) but there was a plethora of choices:  Texas barbeque, hamburgers, chips-on-a-stick, gozleme, as well as nuts and fruits sold directly by the farmers, just to name a few.  We saw food vendors on just about every corner.  But, I was hungry and I just couldn’t resist the nostalgia of a good old deep-fried, breaded hotdog on a stick. Delicious!
The carnival rides would have done us in, $75 for 70 tickets (Best Value), with each ride averaging a cost of 8 tickets. The lines were better than at Disneyland, but getting whipped around and spun upside down for thirty seconds was not high on my priority list.
Since I’m a country girl, the animals were what I came for.  I deeply inhaled the pungent aromas of farm life and it took me back to my childhood.  Competitors came from around the country, some further, showcasing the best of their animals.
I loved seeing the cow being groomed with a brush and hairspray, prior to being walked over for judging.
The Blue Ribbon Sow weighed in at 749KG.
The Lhasa Apso won best in show for dogs, but we were really rooting for the sheep dog.  He was a beauty.
It was fantastic.  All of it.
We spent an entire day at the show, leaving home around 9am and returning around 8pm.  We treated ourselves to some Australian Dairy Farmer’s handmade gelato to cool us down in the warming afternoon.  That helped cooler heads to prevail as we entered our last exhibit for the day—The Royal Easter Show Showbag Pavilion, a must do at the Easter Show.
We slowly waded through the crush of people in search of the bag I wanted: The Arnott’s Biscuits showbag.  (My first choice was already sold out.)  Fortunately, we didn’t have to venture too deep into the horde, and I scored a bag of yummy biscuits (Tim Tams, Mint Slice, Kingstons…just to name a few) and a bonus showbag of Wagon Wheels for a total of $18.  Now that ‘s a bargain!
It’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars at the Royal Easter Show.
I watched families pulling out cash out of their wallets all day long.  I saw one couple flash each other their empty wallets, shrug it off, laughing as they walked away.
No matter how you do it, whether you save up and blow the lot like at a casino in Las Vegas, or go the cheap route like we did.  it’s worth every cent for a day of great entertainment.

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  1. April 6, 2016 / 11:20 am

    The woodchopping is awesome – and stressful to watch! I don’t remember the show bag pavilion being SUCH a madhouse and this year they had barricades directing people to get IN – but nothing to get out! But we made it and had a great time.

  2. Lisa
    April 5, 2016 / 3:02 pm

    I love the woodchopping and the show jumping. The dog shows ad chaotic – and noisy and the show bag pavilion blows my mind! Best of all are the District fruit and veg displays – amazing what you can do with some pumpkins and heads of wheat….

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