I went to the Ekka on Saturday, or the Royal Queensland Show to give it its proper title. Though no one ever calls it that. It used to be called the Brisbane Exhibition. That got shortened to Exhibition, which then got shortened to Ekka. Australian’s are very busy people. They don’t have time to waste saying full words.
The Ekka is a huge agricultural show with farmers coming from all over the state to enter their livestock in various competition categories. Sort of like a Miss World pageant for Queensland cows etc. The farmers take it pretty seriously. I saw one man using a little electric trimmer to tidy up the hair around his prize cow’s udder. She must have missed her waxing appointment.
Aside from the farm stuff there are numerous fairground rides; art, craft, monster truck and motocross exhibitions; wood chopping; fireworks; and junk food galore. I was advised to sample the quintessential Ekka fare – a Dagwood dog and a strawberry sundae. The Dagwood dog is a frankfurter, fried in batter, on a stick. Verdict – not as good as a battered sausage. The strawberry sundae was lovely though, worth the very long queue.
One thing that really struck me about the Ekka was the atmosphere. Often at big events, with crowds and queues and screaming kids, people (myself included) can lose their manners. But there was none of that at the Ekka. I think it was the friendliest, politest big event I’ve ever been to.
I saw as many animals as I could, mentally adding to my wish list of future pets (llama, miniature horse, golden pheasant). One of the highlights was the poultry pavilion. Rows and rows of chickens in shapes, sizes, colours and patterns I didn’t even know were possible. It’s a Pixar film waiting to happen.