Good shows getting harder to find
FERRIS wheels, hot chips smothered with tomato sauce, sideshow alley clowns and ridiculously overpriced showbags ... yep, it’s showtime.
It’s show season across North Queensland and I have been hit with a wave of nostalgia big enough it could probably ride on some of the scarier carnival rides without a parent.
I have fond childhood memories of watching puppet shows, spending $ 30 trying to win a certain stuffed toy by popping balloons with a dart, coveting kewpie dolls in sparkly dresses and painstakingly picking out my showbag at the country shows in my region.
Then there are the memories of being allowed to go to the show at night with friends in my teens, being thrown around a metal capsule on a somewhat rickety ride and getting suckered into buying all manner of tacky junk. But for all those wonderful memories, I have to admit a good show is getting harder to find.
Townsville Show is in a different category to the ones I’m thinking of, chiefly because it’s that much bigger. It’s enough of a fixture that the carnies aren’t going to bail and take their rides elsewhere. Big events have staying power, but it’s often harder for the little shows that gradually see all of their attraction drift away.
For one, shows often tend to be expensive and then once you get inside your wallet just keeps getting battered.
The hot, greasy and often foul tasting show food doesn’t come cheaply while a trip down sideshow alley could easily become a costly outing if you let any of the sweettalking operators convince you of your shooting/ fishing/ ball throwing ability.
It’s sad to think that shows could fade out eventually but there are things that give me hope.
I had the privilege of going to Ingham Show earlier this week for work and I have to admit it was one of the better country shows I had been to in years.
The charm of the unique pretzels served with mince, the Rotary stall serving up ravioli and the keen crafters putting in their all to keep the pavilion sections alive were just some of the things that struck me.
I can take or leave the generic clutter that seems to come with every show circuit but it’s those little local touches that have kept the country show alive in spite of an increasing swell of alternative event options.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some rosella jam from the Uniting Church ladies I’d like to sample.