Ben picked me up from the Sydney Airport on March 1st, my first day in Australia, and before we even made it home, plans had been made with his parents to go to the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April. I had no idea what the show was, or what to expect, but I knew that it was a big deal! Everyone was so excited about the show, and as the date drew closer I found out the Royal Family would be attending the show – so you knew this had to be good!
Ok, so what is this show? Think of your state fair – the animals, the rides, the food, the performances – now multiply that by 100 and you’ve got the Sydney Royal Easter Show – a celebration of Australian culture and heritage. Ben, myself, and his parents spent two days at The Show in Sydney packed full of shows, food, animals, and competitions.
The competitions in produce, cakes, painting, floral, and the like are abundant at the Royal Easter Show. Each of the competitions showcases the best of the best in the state and sets the benchmark to be exceeded in the following years show.
Left: A couple of high award winning cakes, yes cake!
Right: High award winning rose & Ben with a 366kg (740lb.) pumpkin
Each district in the state also submits a fresh display featuring more than 10,000 pieces of grain, wool, fruits, and vegetables. Each display is done differently and used to tell a story of the farms or farmers in the district.
The Shows & Competitions
Growing up watching a woodchopping competition on TV was always something fun to do with my dad, so when I had the opportunity to watch one live you know I jumped all over it!
What is basically watching people hack into big blocks of wood is an incredible thing to watch, especially for a weakling like me.
After the men’s national chopping competition, the International Women’s Relay Competition began. These women were beasts and competed in seven different kinds of chops one after another until the very end.
What we thought it was going to be a run away for the Australian team, but on the last relay event the Aussie team had some bad wood and lost… or so we thought. The New Zealand team started ahead of the bell and were disqualified… but wait, Australia did too! They were both disqualified. A few days later round 2 and 3 were held. Although we missed those rounds, the Australia women won!
PRECISION DRIVING & MOTOCROSS
The weekend in Sydney was a bit rainy, so we spent time watching extreme motor sports in one of the stadiums. The first show we saw was the D-Max Precision Driving Team, where four trucks (or utes as they are called in Australia) drove around the track in sync doing tricks, balancing on two wheels, or driving in reverse in perfect unison.
Following the D-Max Precision Driving show was a Freestyle MotoX showcase featuring four drivers from across the country showcasing their tricks in center ring.
When I was a kid driving out to my grandmas house meant we would pass the site of the “Odessa Rodeo,” and those words were always so intriguing to me. The rodeo was held every year on the weekend of my birthday, so it only made sense that my dad would take me for my 9th birthday. The memories of the rodeo have stayed with me all these years, so when I found out that there was an international rodeo competition between Australia and New Zealand I knew this was where I needed to be!
The rodeo started with the singing of both national anthems followed by the New Zealand team performing the Haka! If you have never seen the haka I highly encourage you to click that link to a youtube video of it. The haka is a traditional Maori tribal chant that New Zealanders perform prior to sporting events; it’s used to psych out the other team.
Ultimately I have no idea who the winner was, the competition went on for three days, but no doubt it was a fantastic show, and I was so excited to have even more memories of the rodeo now.
Perhaps you’ve been to your local fair and had fried anything on a stick. While that might be the typical, the typical at the Sydney Royal Easter Show is tea and biscuits, with jam and cream.
Might not be the prettiest, and it probably sounds a bit crazy to have this at the fair, but the biscuits are made by the ladies of the New South Wales Country Women’s Association (CWA). The CWA ladies make legendary biscuits and are all around “the best bakers in the state” – Ben’s words. While the women’s husbands are off showing their prized cattle or competing in competition all week the ladies from the CWA are cranking out hundreds of delicious biscuits and jam, as well as selling their canned jams and cookies.
Click Here for part two of our trip to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.