It was ‘Hats on Sydney’ at the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year, as Sydneysiders were encouraged to put on their favourite hat to support Aussie farmers and come to celebrate the contribution our rural neighbours provide for all of us in Australia.
This year, we had 800,000 people pass through the gates to watch almost 16,000 Sydney Royal awards proudly presented, while others were here to meet farmyard animals, ride the carnivals, eat show-food-favourites on a stick and enjoy 12 hours of free entertainment.
Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Chief Executive, Michael Kenny, thanked people for putting on their best hats, coming to the Show and supporting their country counterparts, especially through popular initiatives such as the Ag Bag, which sold out by the 11th day.
“City audiences were given the opportunity to learn about Australian agriculture, the hard work of our farmers and where our food and fibre comes from,” Mr Kenny said.
“Over 50,000 pieces of fruit and vegetables from NSW and South East Queensland were meticulously judged, 28,000 litres of fresh milk came out of the Dairy Farmers Working Dairy and 600 chicks were hatched over the course of the Show.
“We brought world class entertainment to the Show this year – Mr Boom from the USA, Mario on the Wheel of Death from Brazil and the Zimboyz who hail from Africa,” he said.
The number of international guests travelling to Sydney to attend this quintessentially Australian event continues to grow, with 23,000 people visiting from overseas in 2015.
This year saw 100 international competitors making their way to the Show from all over the world, including Spain, the USA and the Czech Republic.
So for now, it’s Hats off to Sydney – the Show and farmers thank you for your support. It’s been a great Show and we look forward to seeing you next year in just 343 days!
Animals certainly were the stars of the Show, with 14,000 calling it home over two weeks.
Learning about agriculture and where our food comes from proved the biggest attraction with three out of four Showgoers visiting the Food Farm and Farmyard Nursery.
In the Food Farm:
- 65,000 Junior Farm Hands Passports were stamped
- 15,000 children weighed themselves on the cattle scales
- 7,500 children earned their tractor licences
- 6,000 honorary Jillaroo and Jackaroo licences were awarded
- 215 kg of grain was milled
- 1 tonne of flour was used to bake Petey Pies
- 9 tonnes of tropical fruit was cut and given away to sample
- 25,000 Junior Farm Hands Activity Books given away
- 840 bottles of milk were fed to baby lambs and goats
- 5,600 rice paper rolls were made by children
The Farmyard Nursery was home to over 800 animals, including 300 ducklings, 160 sheep and goats, 150 chicks, 130 chickens, 30 mice, 20 ducks and geese, 10 rabbits, four pups, four guinea pigs, three turkeys, two deer, two donkeys, one pony, one alpaca, one llama and one cow.
These animals drank their way through 2,870 litres of water and produced half a tonne of manure a day, more than enough to regrow the grass in Spotless Stadium after 14 days of wear from the horse competitions and main arena entertainment.
From the Farmyard Nursery, 16,800 avid Showgoers made their way into The Dairy Farmers Working Dairy to watch the amazing display of modern agricultural technology in action. The exhibit provided a behind-the-barn-door look at the workings of a modern dairy. All up, 150 cows produced 28,000 litres of milk, enough to bake 112,000 cakes.
A whopping 38,500 people watched 200 sheep being shorn, producing a tonne of wool. The heaviest fleece weighed in at 16.5kg.
In the first ever wool auction held over two days at the Show, 13,592 bales of wool were sold, fetching $17.7 million dollars.
Food Glorious Food
Several records were set in 2015, with the grandest being from the iconic Show tradition; scones with jam and cream at the CWA Tea Room. Over 14 days, 415 volunteers baked a record breaking 48,000 scones! The biggest scone day was Easter Sunday, with the ladies selling 5,053 scones.
With Easter on everyone’s minds, it was seafood that also proved popular. De Costi Wine and Oyster bar set a record, shucking 420,000 oysters, while 1.5 million prawns were also consumed by seafood lovers – that’s 162 prawns or 16 plates per minute.
With so many activities to enjoy, Showgoers certainly worked up the appetite to eat anything and everything on a stick, including:
- 30,000 Cheese on a Stick
- 80,000 Chips on a Stick
- 5,000 Cakes on a Stick
- 5,000 Waffle Dogs
75,000 cheese toasties were made with 10,000 loaves of bread, one tonne of butter and two tonnes of cheese. To wash it all down, 14,000 boxes of lemons were used to make 30,000 cups of lemonade.
When it came to BIG Show food, the two foot O.M.G. D.O.G proved a huge success. The Show sold 1,640 of these mammoth hot dogs – the equivalent of 3,280 feet – more than enough to go twice around the track in Spotless Stadium. The Manwich was another Show food favourite, with 2,000 people testing themselves against the meatiest meal of all.
The Bee-Zeebo display was abuzz with 40,000 bees in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, where Showgoers tasted a sticky 36,000 spoons of honey.
And for those keen to learn something new about cooking their own food, a tantalising 3,920 tastings were given away as part of 182 Women’s Weekly Cooking Demonstrations.
Watching the Show go by from on high
Brand new to the Show this year, the Star of the Show Ferris Wheel spun 5,600 rotations at 15 kilometres per hour. The ride is the largest fully transportable Ferris Wheel in Australia, weighing 100 tonnes and needing four semi-trailers to move it around the country.
In the Showbag Pavilion pug masks barked up a storm, with 7,000 making their way onto the heads of Showgoers. All up 1.25 million Showbags were snapped up by happy Showgoers.
This year, the huge main arena spectacular entertainment in Spotless Stadium was Xtreme Korruption featuring Mr Boom, who blew himself up 28 times using 168 sticks of dynamite over the course of the Show.
The D-MAX Precision Driving Team clocked up 280 laps of Spotless Stadium, travelling a total of 128.8km, on both two and four wheels.
The incredible fireworks displays each night lit up the night sky for nearly three hours across two weeks.
Always a favourite with the kids, over a quarter of a million people enjoyed the roars and thrills in Dinosaur Ice World.
The Super Slide was again another big ticket item this year, with 150,000 people sliding down the colourful ride in the Kids Carnival.
193 New Australians were welcomed in the first ever Citizenship Ceremony held at the Show, a number reflecting the years since the RAS first began.
With Sydneysiders putting their hats on to welcome the Show to town, 860 decided to go all out and buy an Akubra to don as they explored the Showground.
And of course there could only be one Jamie Oliver, and one moon dancing dog.
photo gallery by Ross Willis