End of era for local A&P show
The Tokoroa A&P Show is getting the axe after 80 years.
‘‘It’s sad but times have changed,’’ says the show committee’s secretary-treasurer Sheryl Earles.
The show is one of three events that make up Tokoroa’s annual Big Weekend in December. Carols in the Park and the Tokoroa Christmas Parade are the other two events.
This year will be the A&P Show’s last, although Earles did not rule out a return in the future, if there was enough support.
She said the parade and carols were still popular, but interest in the A&P Show has been dwindling and it was no longer viable to run.
‘‘It’s been going since 1937 and I am very disappointed that we will not be having one in 2018 but we are not getting the competitors and the public are not coming through the gates,’’ she said.
‘‘The amount of people coming through the gate last year was probably half of what we normally see.‘‘
Earles put the show’s demise down to a mix of toughening health and safety rules, an ageing committee, and people wanting free entry.
‘‘Competitors have dropped off in the last couple of years which we feel is probably because the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand (RAS), which is the parent body, has been putting more rules and regulations on us all the time,’’ she said.
‘‘Our committee is also not getting any younger. A lot of them have been doing it for 40 plus years and we are not getting younger people coming through so there is no one to take over,’’ she said.
‘‘People go to the parade but they don’t come down to the A&P Show. We have previously even put on free buses and that still hasn’t worked,’’ she said.
‘‘Our regular sponsors and businesses in town are still pretty good but it is getting harder and harder to get their support too.’’
‘‘I am disappointed as it has gone for years and years and now it is going to be gone.’’
The A&P Show includes the likes of equestrian, cattle, strong man, and pageant events along with trade stalls and live entertainers, has traditionally been held in conjunction with the Tokoroa Christmas Parade and Carols in the Park.
Carols in the Park is also in for some changes and will be held in Leith Pl this December along with other entertainment in Rosebery St.
Earles said she is organising a major prize for the night but the winner will need to be there on the night to receive it.
She said she is also organising a children’s window competition which will be held over two weeks in November.
‘‘Mr G your mural is absolutely amazing and it really captures the essence of Putaruru’s past and present,’’ she said.
‘‘I think I am right in saying that this is the only mural that will be on State Highway One and we get 14,000 cars a day that go past here so what fantastic exposure.’’
Shattock said the new artwork had helped cement Putaruru as the South Waikato’s arts hub.
‘‘Art has long been a part of Putaruru’s history and its identity but [this] artwork has lifted the artwork in our community to a new dimension and It enhances [Putaruru’s] position as the arts and culture centre of our district,’’ she said.
Farmlands chief executive officer Peter Reidie said with 82 stores throughout the country Putaruru was one of the lucky few selected for a mural.
‘‘I want to acknowledge the role of the council, the people of Putaruru, and our business manager [Kate Campbell] from the store who made a huge effort to make this happen,’’ he said.
‘‘As you can imagine there has been a bit of competition when it comes to selecting sites but Kate did an amazing job putting a case forward, she even wrote a poem.’’
Hoete thanked Farmlands, the South Waikato District Council and Putaruru for their support.
‘‘It is a huge honour and privilege for me,’’ he said.
The Tokoroa A&P Show has been given the chop.