Free entry draws in crowds to show
Free entry proved to be the answer to bringing in the crowds to Auckland’s Easter Show.
More than 130,000 people visited the fiveday event at ASB Showgrounds.
The total crowd was up by 70,000, more than double the numbers who attended last year. This included almost 38,000 people on Friday – the biggest crowd in the show’s 171-year history.
The event was under pressure to perform this year after successive years of declining attendance.
Organisers say the boost in numbers returned the CocaCola Easter Show to its days of glory in the 1990s.
Organisers had hoped to top 100,000 people, but they had beat that target by noon on Monday, ASB Showgrounds chief executive Mark Frankham says.
Strong men, farmyard animals, amusement rides and circus performers featured.
Cyclone Ita almost proved disastrous for the Easter Show.
The doors closed on the show’s opening morning due to wild weather, but people returned despite persistent rain showers.
Easter Show marketing and event manager Nicola Harris says the show will be free again next year as long as sponsors are on board. ‘‘Auckland has really come out and shown they want the show and they are enjoying it. We’re going to be carrying it on.’’