Field day for show crowd

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON domanii. cameron@ news. com. au

THE dag­wood dogs, fairy floss and show bags have been packed away for an­other year, with com­mu­nity lead­ers prais­ing lo­cals for dig­ging deep at the Townsville Show de­spite tough eco­nomic times.

More than 60,000 peo­ple are es­ti­mated to have at­tended the show over the four days, wrap­ping up last night.

While num­bers did not break at­ten­dance records, show society gen­eral man­ager Chris Con­don said Satur­day was the best day and night.

Ta­han Lew- Fatt, a for­mer Big Brother con­tes­tant, was awarded the crown of Miss Townsville last night.

Ms Lew- Fatt, who is orig­i­nally from Dar­win, said she en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion last year and came third.

“I thought I would come back and try it,” she said.

“Last year I put too much pres­sure on my­self and this year I had more fun. I think it’s more about my men­tal­ity to not make it a pageant.”

Mr Con­don said over­all, this year’s show was well re­ceived by lo­cal fam­i­lies.

“We made it affordable for fam­i­lies,” he said.

“I re­ally no­ticed yes­ter­day how many peo­ple were here.

“There must be a big baby boom go­ing on at the mo­ment as there were lots of prams.” Mr Con­don said the show catered to all de­mo­graph­ics. “On Satur­day there were lots of teenagers,” he said. “We had great feed­back.” T o w n s v i l l e city coun­cil­lor Kurt Re­hbein at­tended the open­ing on Fri­day night and said it was a fan­tas­tic week­end. “I took my four lit­tle ones, it was a re­ally lovely night,” he said. “The rides that were there were ter­rific and it was re­ally fam­ily- ori­ented.” Cr Re­hbein said thou­sands of lo­cal fam­i­lies had flocked to the show­grounds. “The food was great, there were lots of show bags,” he said. “We didn’t have to spend a great deal. “It’s great for the com­mu­nity’s morale; I will def­i­nitely be go­ing next year.” CHIL­DREN were be­ing found in a mat­ter of min­utes af­ter go­ing walk­a­bout at the Townsville Show thanks to a lo­cal polic­ing ini­tia­tive.

Townsville po­lice came up with the idea 11 years ago of giv­ing chil­dren wrist­bands with their par­ents’ names and phone num­bers to help re­unite lost kids with their mums and dads.

And it has been hugely suc­cess­ful, with po­lice get­ting chil­dren back to their par­ents within just seven min­utes of be­ing re­ported miss­ing.

Se­nior Sergeant Janelle Poole said in years gone by, re­unit­ing par­ents with lost chil­dren was all po­lice would do at the show, but this “tag and re­lease” ini­tia­tive was sav­ing them time.

“The rea­son it started up 11 years ago was be­cause we had a large num­ber of lost kids at the show and we would spend the ma­jor­ity of our time try­ing to re­unite dis­traught child and fran­tic par­ent and most of the time it would take over an hour,” Sen- Sgt Poole said.

“We are the only show in Aus­tralia that does it in this for­mat and we are re­ally proud of that, and in this time we have reg­is­tered over 64,500 kids.”

Po­lice will use a sim­i­lar sys­tem at the Townsville 400 this week­end. Wrist­band sta­tions will be set up at the en­trances to Reid Park.

CHRIS McMA­HON

SAFETY: Cody Vo­gel, 8, gets a wrist­band from Sergeant Michelle Sawtell. Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

CROWNED: Miss Townsville Ta­han Lew- Fatt ( cen­tre) with sec­ond run­ner- up Sophia Har­ris ( left) and first run­ner- up Lara Mit­ton.

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