Gathan Beaga

Hawkes Bay Show

On Saturday we took Bella to the Hawkes Bay show at Hastings. This must be one of the country’s largest A&P Shows. It’s such a big event up there that the locals get an extra public holiday on the Friday to attend it. But as well as all the traditional stuff like competive wood-chopping, show-jumping, and sheepshearing (all of which is actually fun to watch in small doses), there was lots of good wine and food (as befits such a pre-eminent wine and food region). I was able to satisfy my increasingly embarrassing caffeine addiction fairly early on: there were at least four or five vendors of decent coffee to choose from.

It was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me: every year as kids we used to go to the similar local shows near where we lived: first to the West Otago A&P show at the now abandoned townlet of Kelso, and the Mt Benger A&P show at Roxburgh (where my mother would show her Donkeys and my father would show his best hoggets). I used to get bored out of my tree.

Maybe things have changed in 20 years… but this show was much bigger and more modern and incredibly well organised… and if we get the chance, we’ll go again.

We had a great wander about, showing Bella the bullocks being judged, the tractors for sale, the various stalls and shops, musicians, people pretending to be statues… and the highlight (for Bella at least) BJ the bear on the stage in front of the Grandstand.

We managed to wear Bella out completely with all the interesting things to look at and do. And next year there’s a whole lot of carny rides for Bella to try…