entertainment

The show that's brought Queenslanders 135 years of magic.

Queensland Ekka

By KATE HUNTER.

iPads. iPods. You Tube. FOXTEL. Laser-Tag. Theme parks. Aquatic centres. IMAX theatres.

These days, there’s no shortage of fabulous things to do and places to go. Clever people come up with something new every ten minutes and kids and adults lap them up. Overseas, in the USA and Japan, there are rides, attractions and experiences that a year ago we’d never dreamed of.

So what is it about the Ekka that has made it magic for the last 135 years? And it’s the same for every show in every city and town in Australia, I suspect the world.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by the The Royal Queensland Show. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Kids who yawn at the latest iPhone apps will bounce up and down as soon as they see the ferris wheel taking shape.

Adults who can buy a block of 70% couverture chocolate whenever they feel like it will peruse the showbag guide in the paper, highlighter in hand.

Despite world-class footy being played every week and Beyonce coming to town, families will make excited plans to watch the wood chop, place 10c bets on which sheepdog will be the best sheepdog, and check out cakes and tractors and prize piglets.

Brothers and sisters will save their pocket money and dare each other to go on the newest, scariest rides while mothers take a perverse pleasure in smashing into their sons in the dodgem cars.

The Ekka still holds it’s own as a place for a shy first date, a family day out and a destination for groups of teenagers to hang . It feels adult and brave, but reassuringly familiar at the same time. The showbags, the rides, the strawberry ice-cream and the Butter Board sandwiches are a link to the past – special days when Nan and Pop would take you on the train. That first time you were allowed to go without your parents. And there’s always something new too. My mum’s best friend Sue is 74 and has been twice a year practically every year of her life and always notices something she’s never seen before.

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A show is fantastic cocktail of people. Sun-toughened graziers in moleskins and flat felt hats. Pairs of old ladies heading for the CWA scones. Toddlers sleeping in strollers and knots of girls in fluro wigs.

The Queensland Ekka is a once a year antidote to shopping malls, theme parks and play centres. It’s real. And it’s nice to know that no kid or adult is ever too jaded to smile when August rolls around, the last winter wind blows, and that ferris wheel spins again.

Queensland Ekka

Queensland’s largest and most loved annual event is almost here. More than 400,000 people will come together at the 2013 Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) in Brisbane from August 8 to 17. Showcasing the best of Queensland – from the city to the country – Ekka features more than 10,000 animals; 23,000 competition entries; a smorgasbord of award-winning food and wine; and hours of family entertainment.

All the traditional favourites will be back again this year including rides, showbags, the RACQ Insurance Animal Nursery, and iconic strawberry sundae. From dawn to dusk, there will be plenty to do, to taste, to see and to smell. The countdown has begun!

This post is sponsored by EKKA. Comments on this post are just for this post. If you have questions about sponsored posts or the choice of advertisers please click here.

Do you have a favourite event at the Queensland Ekka? Or the equivalent in your own state?

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