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.