it’s Ekka time!!!

Woo hoo!  Ekka time is upon us!  Thanks to my aversion to news broadcasts and avoidance thereof, it has kind of snuck up on me this year.  It wasn’t until I drove past the showgrounds on Sunday night and saw all the dazzling lights of side-show alley ready for tomorrow’s opening that I realised just what time of year it is!

For those of you sitting in other corners of the world scratching your heads and wondering what the heck I’m on about, you’ll find a brief explanation here:

Wikipedia entry for the Ekka!

Unfortunately, yesterday when I was checking out the Ekka’s website I learned that the showgrounds will be undergoing some major redevelopment and is (to quote their website) forever changing.  Yes, sadly, the next ten days will be the last opportunity to ride on the chairlift and meander through the showbag pavilion.  So, rather than bemoaning the ever increasing entry price ($23 for an adult this year for the record), warning of the inevitable spread of cold and flu germs through a large, tightly-packed crowd of people at the height of flu season or muttering bemusedly about when the dearest showbag available cost $10 rather than $100, I’m going to focus on the more nostalgic aspects of the Ekka.

My earliest memories of the Ekka are from school.  It was (and possibly still is, for all I know) extremely common for schools to arrange class trips to the Ekka.  At what other time of year could they drag 30 young students around to all the different agricultural displays to stare at beautiful horses, award-wining cows, cute baby animals, prize hens, multi-coloured newly-hatched chicks and dogs herding sheep?  I have memories of sitting under a tree with my classmates on one trip, eating dagwood dogs and drinking Mellow Yellow for the first time ever.  You haven’t been able to buy Mellow Yellow for years now!!  I remember colouring in competitions, road safety displays at the police pavilion, student newsreader competitions, friends, fun, two days off school each year (the public holiday plus an extra school holiday regardless of whether there was a class trip) and, of course, the $1 Bertie Beetle showbag that every child could afford.

So, for me, the Ekka will be nostalgically remembered as:

  • dagwood dogs dripping with tomato sauce

  • the Exhibition train station which was only used for 10 days each year (the blue frame in the background is the base of the ferris wheel which remains in sideshow alley year round)

  • not walking under the chairlift in case someone spat on you

  • goldfish won in side-show alley that occasionally outlived the Ekka

  • the excitement of choosing showbags full of chocolate, lollies, chips or toys (or ideally all four)

  • lots of smelly animals, complete with manure

  • the dog trials

  • the produce displays

  • the iconic strawberry icecreams (sorry, couldn’t find a photo – iconic, but anonymous!)
  • the dazzling fireworks

  • and the crowds (see chairlift photo above, although that’s a fairly light crowd).

You couldn’t ask for a better day out!  Ignore the swine flu; if you’re in Brisbane over the next 11 days and get the chance, make sure you check it out!

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2 Responses to “it’s Ekka time!!!”

  1. Madi-Elara Says:

    Great info about the Ekka! I love it! You have such great information and reallly capture the true blue spirit of the Royal Queensland Show! Awesome blog! Can’t wait til this years show!

  2. […] it’s Ekka time!!! August 2009 1 comment 4 […]

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