Friday, 17 August 2012

Busy week - but lots of fun!

Its the old 'too much work and not enough play' this week - hence the unintended break in blogging.

This week in Brissy (Brisbane) is the Ekka week. Ekka is Aussie speak for Exhibition which is shorthand for Royal Queensland Show - Make perfect sense, right? At any rate, we get lots of holidays to celebrate and a whopping great farming competition is held bang smack in the middle of the city.

There are your standard "who has the best cow/pig/sheep/chicken" competition along with the who makes the best jam/cake/scones/lemon butter" competition. Then there is all the fine arts; sewing, embroidery, smocking, photography, paintings... As well as regional displays, cooking shows, farming displays, sheep dog trials, horse showing and jumping, Animals giving birth, milking demonstration, fleece judging, aquariums, egg competitions.... all culminating in a big fireworks frenzy each evening!

Awesome fun! - oh and there is also side show alley and a show bag pavilion. For those who know the Ekka, they will know that it is famous for its showbags and rides. Mainly the teenagers go for the rides but the showbags are unbelievable. They started as sample bags for farmers, as in "Hey mate, wanna try some of our new fertiliser? Here's a sample bag." After a while, the salesmen got smart and added a magazine and a tea bag for the missus to get her to persuade her hubby to go to that stall and has morphed over the last 50 years into something so unrecognisable from the original that most people don't even know how show bags  filled with junk, toys, lolloies and chocolates ever came about!

You can get a$1 bag with a few lollies in it right up to $100 bags with rugby team shirts and branded coolers, clothing and other quality rubbish that you probably don't need but get caught up in the showbag frenzy and buy...??? ( I bought a $10 chicken catalogue - I guess you could say I didn't get caught up in the show bag frenzy)

I went with a friends teenager, who promptly ditched me at the gate - and spent a happy day wandering amongst the animals chatting to the owners (and complete strangers) and then in the "Fine Arts" building checking out all the breathtakingly decorated cakes, awesome handicrafts. Foe me, the Ekka wouldn't be complete without the paintings, drawings and photography! There are some amazingly talented people out there and I enjoyed their efforts!

So with that background - enjoy a few Ekka pictures! - K xx


Some girls and their cows...

Prize winning eggs!!! Im gonna have a go at that trophy next year!

One of the side show atractions for big and little kids - how much fun does that look???

Compulsory dagwood dog at the Ekka! (Thats a Savaloy in batter dipped in tomato sauce)

Just for Kathryn! - It would seem there is a thriving Alpaca (and lama) industry here in Queensland!

Some Alpaca fleece handicrafts! So so soft!!! Mmmmmmmm....

A super cute wee alpaca! (I had no idea they were so small - I always thought they were more horse size) and if I recall my brief alpaca lesson - that would be a cria (bubby alpaca!)


Into the Fine Arts pavillion - crocheting...


Embroidery (hard to get good shots as you arent actually allowed to photograph in here...)

Paper crafts... but man you should have seen the cakes!!!

Garden displays (Bromaliads for you African Aussie!)

Giant Vege competition - hard to see how big they were with out a reference, but I can assure you a family of 6 could live on one of those pumpkins for many moons!

Honey, bees wax and other apiarist type pursuits competition...

Side show alley - and, No, I didn't go on any of the rides!


The Show Bag Pavilion - last thing in the evening - Lots of bags sold out for the day and everyone heading for the fire works, hence its empty. Normally sooooo packed with people its impossible to see it like this.

And finally the fireworks - always a crowd pleaser!

See you next year at the Ekka!

Score card
Green-ness: 2/5 Not many ways of being green at the Ekka... BYO food and water and catching public transport helps.
 Frugal-ness: 4/5 if you can say no to rides and showbags you can have a good time on a budget
Time cost: You'll need all day to see it all at a slow pace.
Skill level: If you cant say no - leave your cards at home.
Fun -ness: The best fun you can have with sore feet!

3 comments:

Kathryn Ray said...

Oh gosh, I love a big fair. Our local fair is teeny, tiny.

I would love to play in those giant balls. How much fun that would be.

That cria is adorable, I love his/her grey neck and chin.

I believe there is a big alpaca industry in Australia. There are crews of Aussie and Kiwi shearers that come up here and travel the country during our spring for shearing.

I have helped with a fleece show once, that was quite a learning experience.

Lois said...

We have something similar here, minus the shows, we just refer to them as our county fairs. Each county in the area has them so we have plenty to choose from throughout the course of summer and early fall.

Love the art work, oh and alpaca is big here too. We even have a local alpaca farm where we can get handmade items from.

Practical Frog said...

Until I met kathryn on line I hadnt considered Alpacas and Llamas outside of book on travel in the middle east, so it was interesting to see in the flesh (and pat) the real thing! Much much softer than sheep fleece and much much friendlier animals. On first aquaintance, I say they were much smarter too!
Cause we live on the edge of the big city, we miss information about the little shows in the towns around us and the ekka is blasted all over the media - we dont have a TV and we still get all the info. Australia is a huuuuuge place and travel to towns with a fair/show is 2-3 hours - making it a big day if you go.

Great fun - glad i went! - K xx

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