EVEN after 125 years, there are some attractions at the Bungendore Show that never seem to lose their spark.
Old favourites such as beef cattle, dog shows and horse and equestrian judging have been around since the show first opened in 1888 – and they never fail to draw big crowds, says show society president Marion Whalan.
“You just can’t be an agricultural show without them,” says Marion.
“Some people who won those competitions in the 1960s come back now to judge, so it’s great to see the history there.”
Run by volunteers, the Bungendore Show, which is on Sunday, January 27, has put new meaning to the saying “the show must go on”.
When tough times struck during World War II, it was closed for 20 years in the 1940s before reopening again in 1961 with the help of the community.
“I suppose it didn’t run during those years because there were less people who were able to commit to helping out with the show back then,” Marion says.
“So since we reopened after the war, we’ve technically been around for 52 consecutive years – but we ended up forgetting our 50th consecutive anniversary two years ago!”
And while they won’t be holding any formal celebrations this year to mark the show’s 125th anniversary, there’s plenty on offer, including the new dog high jump – “everyone’s pretty excited about that one” says Marion – and scone-buttering competitions.
Surprisingly, the scone-buttering competition “can get pretty competitive”, laughs Marion.
“It’s against the clock, so you have your lovely fresh scones from the local bakery in the middle of the table, you’ve got to cut your scone, butter it, put it in a certain way, tidy up all your crumbs, clean up and rush back and stand to attention at the other end of the table,” she says.
“There’s two teams at once, we have the children, and lots of adults have a go as well. There’s a winner from both age groups who receive cookbooks.”
With increasing interest from interstate visitors, the show continues to grow in numbers each year.
“Last year around 4500 people went through the gates, and they just keep coming,” says Marion.
“We get a whole mix of people… particularly families, because kids are free under 15.
“We’re one of the first shows on in the area for the year and we’ve always enjoyed great patronage, because I think people like to be a part of such a long-running show.”
The Bungendore Pastoral, Agricultural and Horticultural Society’s annual Bungendore Show, Mathews Lane showgrounds, 9am-4pm, Sunday, January 27. Admission $15, children under 15 are free. Visit bungendoreshow.com.au for more details.