NOW in its 104th year, Foster Show combines the tradition of generations of people striving for their very best in of all kinds of ways associated with country life with modern living, be it ‘most creative digitally altered photo’ or the latest in farm machinery available.
This year’s choice of a ‘celebrity’ to officially open the Show is an excellent one, as it is Zoe Phillips, who besides being a country girl herself, is one of the Weekly Times’ top photographers, so has a strong connection to agricultural industry and rural life.
With dogs being one of her passions, it is appropriate that after Zoe performs the formal honours at 1.00pm in front of the grandstand, the dog high jump commences and is followed soon after by the fun ‘Dog Parade’ events (children and dogs in fancy dress themes and so on) and Paul Macphail’s working dog displays where kelpies round up Indian Runner ducks, which are adept dodgers.
Entertainment is a big aspect of the Show, with waves of children screaming their delight on show rides and badgering their parents for show bags and novelties.
The City of Casey Pipe Band, which is stepping in to take the place of the advertised Victoria Police Band (which has been diverted to playing for a flood appeal concert in Northern Victoria) is returning to the Show and will perform brackets around the showgrounds as well as leading the Grand Parade at 2.00pm.
Given their popularity on previous occasions, it is expected that their performances will be greatly enjoyed.
Whether you will be strolling around the grounds or more confined to the grandstand overlooking the rings, there will be plenty to catch your interest from the time the gates of the Station Road showgrounds open to spectators at 8.30am.
The colour and movement of the show, from cut flower competitions in the Exhibit Shed through to ribbons fluttering from immaculately groomed ponies (all day) and the soar of a ‘wheat sheaf’ bag over a high bar at noon is something that inevitably brings a rush of adrenalin.
Competitor excitement is catching, people chat to those next to them, and those lucky enough to win ribbons and judge’s cards are flushed with the thrill.
Spinning wheels will be a blur under competent hands near the alpacas, and snake tongues will be flickering in the care of their trained handler near the main gate.
Craft lovers can be inspired by demonstrations of mosaics and polymer clay by local experts in the pavilion (basketball stadium), parents can sigh over would-be master tots and miss showgirls (11.00am on the lawn near Exhibit Shed) or investigate the attractions of games run by scouts or the specialties of Montessori kindergartens (pavilion).
The bravest show visitors can line up for free rides on the mechanical bull while lovers of draught horses can admire magnificent Clydesdales from foals to giants in harness.
Children’s skill development across all age groups is widely encouraged through the show classes, from pre-schoolers’ paintings through secondary students’ cartoons, or in age group categories from inventors to pony club riders in pairs.
If your child is participating, the show is doubtless “a must” but there are also plenty of ideas and examples for new interests for children to see being undertaken by others of similar age and inclination.
Crowds of men are expected to want to browse around the vintage cars and tractors, and farmers will want to check out other people’s cattle.
Hopefully many of these will also drop into the ‘Pit stop’ men’s health check marquees near the cricket nets to get a ‘roadworthiness’ estimate.
Are you looking for something to do in the district in the near future?
Whether it is fun or volunteering, how about visiting stands around the showgrounds ranging from the Seachange Festival to the Port Welshpool Coastguard?
Altogether, Foster Show is a value-for-money event that locals can be proud of supporting while being guaranteed enjoyment.
Entry to the showgrounds costs $10 per adult, $1.00 per child under 16 years, $20 per family (2 adults and two children under 16 years) and $4.00 per concession card holder.
Disabled parking is available on site by the grandstand.