The agricultural shows in the Clarence Valley have wrapped up after another successful year.
The Maclean Show was held on Tuesday and Wednesday last week with the Grafton Show taking place on Friday and Saturday.
For Maclean Showgirl Nicole Cowling, it was Junior Showgirl one year, Senior Showgirl the next.
Nicole, who also took out the Regional Junior Showgirl back in February, said that life has been one good thing after another for her.
“I thought that after winning the inaugural Maclean Junior Showgirl last year, it would be a disadvantage entering the senior showgirl this year,” Nicole said.
“I didn’t think that I had a chance, but I was encouraged to have a go. I’m both thrilled and surprised after winning the title. It’s been a great experience.”
Georgia Everson of Ashby who took out the Maclean Junior Showgirl said that winning the title was a fabulous feeling.
“I’m overjoyed and excited to have won and would like to encourage other girls to have a go next year,” she said.
“It really boosts your confidence.”
Maclean Show Society president Brian Ferrie said it was a pretty good show this year.
“The entertainment I thought was excellent and entertained the crowd,” he said.
“Sideshow alley rides and features were down a bit, due to this year’s running date of the show clashing with other agricultural shows. Poultry and caged bird entries were up this year and the quality of entries in the other pavilions was excellent.
“The crowd numbers were down a little bit this year; I’m not sure why, but possibly due to the later time of the running of the show this year. I’d like to once again thank all the many volunteers that helped out this year.”
This year the Maclean Show Society bestowed life membership to both Mr Ferrie and Brian Farrell who have been tireless workers with the show for many years.
“It was a real honour, to receive life membership by the Maclean Show Society,” said Mr Ferrie.
“It means that I have to work a lot harder now, doesn’t it?”
Grafton Show Society president Rex Green said this year’s show was very successful, with above-average crowds and increased gate takings.
“We [also] had some great displays in the pavilion with a high quality of exhibits. Poultry numbers were up this year, with one competitor entering over 70 birds in the section. Caged birds were also up,” Mr Green said.
“The horse section was down on last year, due to the timing of this year’s event. Normally we have a lot more entries if the show falls during the school holiday period. Beef cattle entries were down on last year also, which is all to do with the timing of the Queensland [show] circuit. If the show [here] falls in April, we get more entries and exhibitors.
“Side show alley was also down a bit on rides, because the Queensland run has already started. We had good numbers in the alpacas, which celebrated their 10-year anniversary at the Grafton Show. There were over 100 exhibits, which is the largest number of entries to date.”
Mr Green also said that this year’s Grafton Show “had a good line up of axemen in the wood chop events with similar entry numbers to last year”, and farm produce was comparable to last year.
“One of the special features was an exhibit of decorated vegetables by residents of the South Grafton nursing home. One of the residents Margaret Pocock who is now in her 90s organises it each year. She used to be a steward in the agricultural pavilion prior to becoming a resident at the nursing home,” Mr Green said.
Winner of the Grafton Showgirl went to Lily Weatherstone, with runner up Makalya Richardson.
Miss Weatherstone said that it was such a great privilege to be able to be an ambassador for our rural community and to further represent the Grafton Show.
“I’m looking forward to representing Grafton at the next stage of zone level, to be held at Wauchope early next year,” she said.
“I’m so grateful to our sponsors and the entire Clarence Pastoral and Agricultural Society for all of their hard work and for everyone else that participated and got involved.”