When something’s not quite working, a fresh pair of eyes can often be a great way to spot those things that require some fine-tuning.
That’s something attendees to this year’s ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show will benefit from, as first time Royal National Capital Agricultural Society (RNCAS) CEO Athol Chalmers has come on board from Canberra Community Clubs with little direct “Show” experience to speak of.
Yet Chalmers has instituted a series of measures with the aim of rejuvenating an event that some suggest has become a bit stale in recent years.
This year’s Show will feature a host of modern, innovative touches while still maintaining its longstanding integrity and connection to both its agricultural and community roots via Show institutions like produce at Harvest Hall, sideshow alley, showbags, main arena entertainment and more.
In recent years, the price of entry, parking, food and rides have slowly crept up, impacting attendance. To counteract that, ticket prices this year have been reduced by 30% compared to 2018, meaning entry now costs $20 per adult, $12 per child and $50 for a family of two adults and two children.
There’s also a further 20% reduction in prices for tickets purchased online via canberrashow.org.au
Parking costs have been halved from $10 in 2018 to $5, with the majority of that fee going directly to the Monaro and Southern Tablelands groups of the Country Women’s Association.
Loads of entertainment
At the Show, the fun starts the moment you get through the gate.
Alongside the exhilarating rides at sideshow alley and live music at bars and stages throughout EPIC,; fireworks, bareback jumping, Team Isuzu D-MAX precision driving, harness racing, car soccer, Freestyle Moto X and duelling excavators will all feature in the main arena at this year’s Show.
Country and western star Gina Jeffreys will lead a massive live entertainment bill setting out to showcase the many facets of Canberra’s culturally diverse community.
A renewed focus on local music and arts entertainment will also be at the fore this year at the ‘Canberra on Show’ precinct, with three full days and two nights packed full of live performances. Over 40 local music and arts groups will be represented by hundreds of talented Canberrans performing in a range of styles and genres.
Adding to this year’s bumper program, a full day of woodchopping will return to the Show due to overwhelming community feedback.
Organisers expect the event to attract a strong field of competitors from across Australia.
As one of the most expensive elements of the Show to run, the return of woodchopping this year has been made possible by generous support from several local businesses and individuals as well as ongoing support from long-term sponsors.
ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show charity partner announced
For more than two decades, ActewAGL has been the major naming rights sponsor of the ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show, while at the same time raising much-needed funds for a local charity.
This year, local organisation Care Inc., which helps low-income consumers overcome debt, will be the Show’s charity partner. A colourful range of cute and cuddly ActewAGL plush pigs will be on sale for $5 each; with every cent raised going to Care Inc. to continue its community support programs.
A wider range of food and beverages
Alongside the show staples of Dagwood dogs and hot chips, this year the Show is extending their culinary offerings.
The Hearty Choice Food Court will offer healthier options including baked potatoes and salads. You can also find traditional Turkish gozleme, Greek specialties and tasty Indian dishes in the food court.
Family Food Court is the place to be for dinner and a show, with a great view of the main arena action and plenty to choose from including Thai, Mexican, burgers, pizzas and more.
And at ‘Canberra on Show’, one of the main live entertainment venues, the focus will be on the Canberra region’s food, wine and craft beer.
The ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show at EPIC is open 8.30am-10pm on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 February, and 8.30am-6pm Sunday 24 February. For more information and to view the show guide, visit canberrashow.org.au
A few fast facts about the 2019 ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show:
- With over 2,700 horses, it will be one of the biggest horse shows in Australia.
- The Canberra Show can be traced back to 1908 when the Ginninderra Farmers’ Union organised a show at Ginninderra, near where Belconnen Soccer Club, McKellar stands today.
- The inaugural Canberra Show was held at Hall Showground in 1927, and moved to the Canberra Showground, now EPIC, in 1964.
- The dog show, held over the three days, is the biggest in Canberra.
- Parking costs have been reduced to $5 per day.
- Entry fees have been reduced by 30%, to $20 per adult and $12 per child (6-16 years); purchase online via canberrashow.org.au for a further 20% saving.