Geoff Marsden was busy manning the beer section on Friday.
Geoff Marsden was busy manning the beer section on Friday. Ewan Leighton

Stellar start to show season

STANTHORPE Show Society president Cameron Gow said the weekend show was up there with the best.

Crowds filled sideshow alley, the wine pavilion, tea room and exhibition centre for the kick off of the region's show season and what is being referred to by some as the "mini-Ekka".

"Mark Bryant the CEO of Queensland Shows, based in Brisbane at the Ekka, reckons the Stanthorpe Show is one of the most diverse shows you can visit," Cr Gow said.

"Because of our climate we have fruit, wine, cattle - you name it and we have it."

Agforce president Brent Finlay opened the show, which Cr Gow said was a highlight for him.

"I thought it was extremely appropriate to have someone like him open the show in this, the Year of the Farmer," he said.

"The fireworks display was the best in years and they were a credit to the guys that put that together."

Of course, no show can have such success without a team of dedicated volunteers and Cr Gow paid special tribute to the show's very own "spaceman".

"I have to give full credit to Peter Bonner," he said.

"He's a bit like a real estate agent and has to make sure there are enough stalls to go round."

Cr Gow said the society had received a lot of positive feedback but it was the crowd that kept coming through Saturday afternoon that indicated the level of success.

"The sideshow alley guys usually pack up about lunchtime but because there were people they didn't even start to pack up until 5pm," he said.

There were record numbers of competitors in some events and Cr Gow said across the board numbers seemed to be up on previous years.

The event gave the show society the opportunity to show off the extension to the exhibition shed, which houses a new cafe and a seating area overlooking the ring.

"Now we're just looking forward to the next show and planning ahead," Cr Gow said.

"It's really infectious."


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