THE 105th annual Foster & District Show is only days away, and the much-anticipated event is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, with plenty of entries showcasing the very best that South Gippsland has to offer.
Presented by the Foster & District Agricultural Society Inc., the show is gearing up to be even better than preceding years, with plenty of entertainment, action, colour and excitement.
Declaring the show open will be renowned Australian botanical illustrator Celia Rosser OAM, of the Celia Rosser Gallery, Fish Creek.
The gates will open at 6.30am for exhibitors, and the Pavilion and Exhibit Shed open at 7.30am for spectators. (The Exhibit Shed will be closed from 9am to 9.30am for judging). Make sure to keep your gate ticket as one lucky visitor to the Show will be winning the gate prize of $200, generously donated by the Toora and Foster Bendigo Community Bank Branches. Write your details on the back and take it over to the Bank’s stand in the Basketball Pavilion. The winner will be announced at around 2.30pm.
There will be representation of dairy cattle, and with terrific sponsorship from Murray Goulburn, there will be some serious competition in both the senior and junior categories.
Entry numbers in all categories are high so there will be plenty to be admired, from beef cattle and alpacas to poultry and pigeons. If something in the equestrian field is more your speed, go along to the arena to watch show jumping, harness and led ring events. There will be a display in the livestock area of goats, and Wessex Saddleback and Tamworth pigs.
For those with an interest in all things culinary, go along to the Exhibit Shed to see the entries in the preserves, jams, sauces, cakes and bread. There are even categories to determine who can bake the best rich fruit cake!
Compare your veggie patch with the winners in the garden and farm produce sections, of which there are many: vegetables, herbs, fruit – even edible flowers are included.
Art and craft enthusiasts will enjoy the needlework and sewing in the Exhibit Shed, or can try their hand in the speed knitting or knitting Nancy competitions. There will be floral art and photography displays to admire in the Pavilion, and Sue Gilford will be there, demonstrating her amazing pyrography expertise. Trudi Richter will be spinning alpaca fleece next to the alpacas, in the Robbie Allen Pavilion.
Garden enthusiasts can admire the many cut flowers and pot plants – there’s even a classification for dahlias the size of dinner plates.
The Show Girl and Master Tot competition will be held at 11am at the Exhibit Shed lawns.
Make your way to the grandstand at around noon, for sheaf tossing, and dog high jump.
The gum boot throwing competition is on again this year at 1.30pm. Foster Show Idol was hugely popular last year and is sure to be just as entertaining in 2012. It all happens at 2pm.
Go along to the dog exhibit and judging and at 2.30pm find out which pooch has the waggiest tail, is a champion chewer, or is the most beautifully groomed in the dog parade.
The City of Casey Pipe Band will be playing each hour at various locations around the showgrounds.
The Foster Ladies Auxilliary will be holding a luncheon in the pavilion, and the Foster Kindergarten will be putting on coffees and a barbecue at the football scoreboard.
Paul MacPhail will be demonstrating the sheep herding abilities of his working dogs at 3pm.
Check out the weird and wonderful reptiles at the Black Snake Productions stand. Pat a chook or cuddle a lamb at the pet nursery.
For those after an adrenalin rush, the ever-popular mechanical bull will be there, along with plenty of rides to take you for a spin. There will also be sideshows, face painting and balloon animal-making.
History buffs can get a taste of local history at the Foster Historical Museum stand, or can have a look at vintage cars and tractors.
If you are after information on agricultural machinery, solar energy, sustainable homes, or land management, help can be found at the various stands in the Pavilion and around the grounds.
Visit the Healthy Eating stand for free fruit and barbecued vegetables. While there, fill out a short questionnaire from the South Gippsland Hospital / Community Health Centre, ask for a lucky number ticket and you could win $100 in cold hard cash. There are only 200 surveys to be completed, so the chances of winning aren’t bad at all.
Forty of the entries by local students in the international Lions Club Peace Poster art competition will be displayed in the Children’s Art section of the Pavilion.
Jackie Rogers will once again be selling her very popular showbags from her stand next to the Rotunda, containing an incredible array of gardening goodies. Last year the showbags sold out by 10am, so it’s a case of ‘first in, best dressed,’ so as not to miss out. This year the contents will include daffodil bulbs from Toora Bulbs, lavender garden soap from Larkrise Natural Handmade Soaps of Foster, recyclable pots and labels, recyclable jiffy pots from Garden City Plastics, a peak cap or cool pack from Bunnings, Powerfeed sachets from Seasol, a $10 meal discount voucher from Moos at Meeniyan, Goodmans veggie seeds, a pack of three vertical planter bags from Yates, a lavender plant from Cootamundra Nursery in Meeniyan, and a native mint plant from Paddy’s Plants in Monbulk.
Be sure to buy tickets for the Monster Raffle at Jackie’s stand, with prizes including fantastic products from local businesses, such as a 9’ long poly from Garden Ware in Queensland, a meat voucher from Dino The Butcher, a pair of ladies hot pink gum boots from Bootiful in Mordialloc, a barbecue and ice bucket from Mitre 10 Leongatha, a ‘ball’ planter pot from Bloom Master Australia, Round Up from Landmark, Windy Ridge and Djinta Djinta wines from IGA Foster, a 3’ tall windmill weather gauge from Home Hardware, Fish Creek, and a $50 meal voucher from Flying Cow Café, Fish Creek.
There will be so much to see and do.
Entry to the Show costs only $10 per adult, children under 16 years $1 each, and concession $4.