Maitland Show organisers are excited about this year’s program as they look to “keep it relevant” amid an array of challenges.
The 2019 edition, themed ‘Celebrate the Land’, will kick off on Friday 15 February, with the traditional schoolies day, official opening, rodeo, and showgirl presentation all set to feature.
An action-packed second day will include events such as the dog show, pavilions, camel races, demolition derby and fireworks, before the show wraps up at 3pm on Sunday 17 February.
The popular animal nursery is open across all three days.
Maitland Showground manager Fiona Abernethy says organisers have worked hard to remain true to the city’s agricultural roots.
“It’s nice for the kids to get up close to the sheep and goats – because we’re becoming increasingly urban, they’ve never had that experience with [these animals],” she says.
“One of the biggest challenges, with the changing demographics in Maitland, is keeping the show relevant.
“We’re very big believers in staying true to the agricultural roots to give people that experience they otherwise wouldn’t have in terms of the agricultural side of things.”
Ms Abernethy adds an “ageing volunteer pool” put in countless hours to ensure the show runs smoothly.
“[Another] big challenge for all the shows is that most of the volunteers are getting older, and then you’ve got to turn that interest in growing your own food, knitting and crocheting into entries,” she says.
“We encourage anyone who does create things to enter the show.”
She says all proceeds from the show will benefit the community-owned showground, with generously donated equipment enabling the show to run at a lower cost.
“Anything we earn from the show goes back into maintaining and improving the grounds so we can have this space available for the community,” she says.
The 2019 Maitland Show’s opening times are 7am to 11pm on Friday, 7am to 10pm on Saturday, and 7am to 3pm on Sunday.
Visit maitlandshowground.com.au for more information.