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Sunday World - - Opinion -

The show be­came the flag­ship ex­hi­bi­tion of South Africa, its im­por­tance un­der­lined by the dig­ni­taries who opened it each year.

In 1947, it was King Ge­orge VI who did the honours, at­tend­ing the event with Queen El­iz­a­beth and the princesses El­iz­a­beth and Mar­garet.

Af­ter a slump in 2009, the new Rand Show was launched in 2010, at­tract­ing 175 000 vis­i­tors.

That year the main at­trac­tions in­cluded the World Strong Man South African Grand Prix, a horse ex­trav­a­ganza, an in­ter­na­tional food and cul­ture ex­hibit, and a boat show on the Rand Show Lake.

Since then word has spread that the show has risen from the ashes like a phoenix, and the num­ber of vis­i­tors has soared to 245 000, up 40% on 2010.

The first car show in Africa was held at the Rand Show back in 1912, and a new mo­tor­ing show and a theatre of mo­tor­ing has re­cently been in­tro­duced.

As the show cel­e­brates its 120th birth­day, it has brought back its huge draw­card from the past a small-scale agri­cul­tural ex­hi­bi­tion, with live­stock, poul­try and other farm­yard at­trac­tions.

The or­gan­is­ers say that from April 18 to 28, South Africans can once again en­joy a great day out for the whole fam­ily, just like the fam­i­lies of that dusty min­ing town did over a century ago.

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