And it felt like most of Mullumbimby was out in force to welcome it back, lining the streets to cheer on the truckies and pouring into the showgrounds to show support for a proud tradition.
Inside the pavilion was the soothing sight of rows of jars full of little pickled things and fruits made into jam, of breads and cakes cut open to display their moist goodness, of patchwork quilts, smocked baby dresses and hand-stitched bags – all a testament to the enduring attraction of the handmade in a world tired of the mass-produced.
“I just love the way it feels so old-fashioned,” was a frequently heard comment.
By far the most popular attraction with the little kids and quite a lot of the mums and dads was the mini animal farm, crammed full all day with everyone eager to pat the goats, sheep, chooks, rabbits, the Maremma sheepdog and Kringle the alpaca.
The farm was courtesy of Main Arm resident Torsten Wiedemann, who initially went to a show committee meeting just wanting to help, but then ended up getting involved.
“The whole idea was to provide something free for the kids, somewhere for them to hang out,” said Torsten, adding that he was ‘absolutely stunned’ at how wonderful the kids had been in handling the animals.
While the farm was free of charge, the proceeds from the 20c fee for a pot of animal feed all went to the RSPCA, whose van was on site opposite the mini farm as part of animal education.
And Torsten was in a good position to sum up the feeling of the show goers – ‘I think the whole community is glad to have the show back.’
As everyone remarked, rain is traditional for the Mullumbimby Show, and there was a bit of a sprinkle at official opening time, but not enough to deter anyone.
Tony Carsburg, doing the honours, paid tribute to the work of Sue Constable in her many years as show secretary – ‘the brains and brawn of the show for all those years’ – and to the very many locals who had contributed to the show’s colourful history.
“I have really fond memories of the show,” he said, “and I hope the tradition continues for many years to come.”
Cecily Ryan was declared Miss Showgirl 2009, with Georgina McKenzie runner-up and Courtney Cioffi Miss Junior Showgirl.
First-time show secretary Desley Creighton declared herself ‘overwhelmed’ with the day’s success and the huge number of volunteer helpers.
“Without her the whole thing would have fallen apart,” said committee member Daniel Mercer.
“She has done the most outstanding job.”
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