You’d be forgiven for thinking spring is the official show season in the regions, which are coming out in force to showcase that brand of charm only found at good old-fashioned country shows.
The Narrandera, Woodstock, Wyalong, Wagga Wagga, Hay, Ungarie, Young, Lockhart and Temora shows will offer all the traditional attractions you’d expect plus some surprises you would only ever experience out bush.
Festivals punctuate the season, from massive art festivals (yes, plural) to music festivals (again, plural), the long-awaited return of a certain kite festival, Wagga’s take on Octoberfest, comedy and even one celebrating a national treasure – the koala.
In between you’ll find spring fairs, rodeos, the cool-climate wine show, race days and a film festival dedicated to man’s best friend.
The regions have sprung into action and we’ve collated the ultimate guide. Over to you.
Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase
When: Friday 2 September, 7 pm
Where: Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, Burns Way (off Tarcutta St), Wagga Wagga
Cost: Adult $35, theatre subscriber $30, group (four or more) $32, book here
The cream of the 2021 Sydney Comedy Festival crop is coming to Wagga in this showcase tour. Featuring some of the festival’s hottest acts live on stage, highlights include Andrew Barnett, Luke Heggie, Chris Ryan, Fady Kassab, Sarah Gaul and Billy D’Arcy. Don’t miss this line-up of veteran favourites and emerging talents for an incredible two hours of hard-hitting, belly-aching laughs.
Country Rocks Festival
When: Friday 2 to Sunday 4 September, various times
Where: Bungendore Showground, 71 Mathews Ln, Bungendore
Cost: General $222, gold $299, VIP $399, junior (13 to 17) $99, kids free, single-day passes and camping also available, book here
Get set for a full weekend of lively country music and atmosphere, excellent camping, fantastic food and drinks and plenty to do for the whole family. You’ll catch headliners The Wolfe Brothers and a massive lineup including Thirsty Merc, McAlister Kemp, The Badloves, Kirsty Lee Akers, Melody Moko, Hayley Jensen, Bill Chambers, Paul Costa, Brewn, Ingrid Mae, King Kanyon and many more. Country Rocks will again partner with the local Rural Fire Service, raising much-needed funds for local and surrounding brigades, Rotary and local community organisations. A courtesy bus will run from the Lake George Hotel Bungendore to the festival.
When: Saturday 3 September, general admission 11 am – 5 pm, fireworks at 7 pm
Where: Narrandera Showground, 35-45 Elizabeth St, Narrandera
Cost: Adult $15, pensioners and students (under 16) $5, family (2 adults, 4 children) $30, payable at the gate
Narrandera’s longest-running annual event, this show attracts thousands of people each year. Country and city come together to enjoy agricultural competitions, rides, exhibitions, entertainment, show bags, horse events, a truck show, a magician, shopping, fireworks and much more in a lively carnival atmosphere.
74th Annual Woodstock Memorial Show
When: Sunday 4 September, 9 am – 4 pm
Where: Woodstock Showground, West Robinson Loftus and South sts, Woodstock
Cost: Adult $10, concession $5, child (under 15) free, book here
Billed as “an authentic country show, showcasing all aspects of country life”, this one is set to entertain all. For the young, there will be face painting, Troppo Magic, Dinkum Dinosaurs, a small sideshow alley, the K9 Superwall with Farmer Dave and the RuffTraack crew. For the rest, expect everything from speed shearing to whip cracking, car, ute and bike shows, a market laneway, livestock exhibits, horse-ring events, competitions and anything else you can imagine to encapsulate the true essence of the traditional country show.
When: Sunday 4 September, 11 am – 2 pm
Where: Rockley Oval, 15 Rockley Pde, Googong
Returning to Googong after a three-year hiatus just in time to celebrate Father’s Day, this beloved community event invites families to go fly a kite. About 2000 attendees are expected this year, so BYO kites and picnic blankets and stake out your space under a technicoloured sky. Food vendors will include the Meat Wizard, Cinnaglaze and Googong Hogs, while a local DJ will provide inflight entertainment.
West Wyalong Show
When: Wednesday 7 September, 9 am – 6 pm
Where: West Wyalong Showground, Railway Road, West Wyalong
Cost: Adult $15, child (0 – 4) free, child (5 – 15) $5, age pensioners $10, family (2 adults, 2 children over 4) $30, payable at the gate
The next country show on the spring calendar takes us to Wyalong, where you’ll find oodles of food stalls, show bags, the Old Kentucky Animal Nursery, a dog show, a reptile awareness display, Dinkum Dinosaurs, cattle, sheep and poultry competitions, Scoot the stunt juggler, equestrian events, a Barminco colouring competition and so much more.
Wagga Wagga Show
When: Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September, 9 am – 9 pm
Where: Wagga Wagga Showground, Bourke St, Turvey Park
Cost: Adult $13, age pensioner and child (5 to 16) $9, book here
Wagga Wagga is bringing it to the country show circuit this season with a fantastic array of entertainment, the usual show events, rides and food vendors, agricultural and cultural displays and a few surprises. For the best value, grab yourself some ride coupons – $26 will provide 30 tokens redeemable at the showground office.
Annual Hay Show
When: Friday 9 September, 2 pm – late and Saturday 10 September, 9 am – late
Where: Hay Showground, Showground Rd, Hay
Cost: (Daily pass) adult $10, age pensioner and school-age children $5, children not at school free, Friday evening only $5, payable at the gate
This excellent weekend for the whole family will fill Norm Smith Pavilion with homemade goods, exhibitions, cooking competitions and children’s artworks showcasing local skills and talents. Grab yourself a CWA scone and a cuppa, stroll along the grassed area, smell the BBQ steaks, catch a dog-jumping show and check out the sideshow alley. There will be show bags galore, mini pig racing and all manner of friendly competitions from food sculpting to scarecrow making, fruitcake baking, chicken parmi-eating and a slow-cooker cook-off. Make sure you stick around for the spectacular fireworks finale.
Marrar Madness Rodeo
When: Saturday 10 September, from 8 am
Where: Marrar Sport and Recreation Reserve, McKelvies Lane, Marrar
Cost: Adult $20, child (9 – 15) $10, child (8 and under) free, family (2 adults, 2 children) $50, camping per person (optional extra) $5, book here
Whether you’re a regular cowboy or cowgirl or new to the rodeo circuit – this is up there on the rodeo scene. The best saddle bronc riders from all over the country are set to compete against award-winning horses for their share of an $8000 prize pool. The main event kicks off at 5:30 pm with the Xtreme Broncs Ray White bronc ride, open bull ride, Rookie Xtreme Broncs final and ladies’ barrel race final. See up-and-coming rookie bronc riders from midday and the free Mini Madness kids’ hours kick off from 4 pm in the main arena. Live music, food and drinks will contribute to a lively rodeo atmosphere.
When: Saturday 10 September, 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
Where: Ungarie Showground Caravan and Campground, Camp Rd, Ungarie
Cost: Adult $10, child $3, under 5 free, concession: $5, family (2 adults, 2 children) $25, payable at the gate
Held as part of the town’s 150th anniversary celebrations, Ungarie’s local community is set to showcase its talents and agricultural achievements in this fabulous addition to the country show circuit. Expect all the trappings including market stalls, competitions, children’s amusements, trade shows, a lolly drop, trick horse riders, tractor pulls, quick shears, a grand parade, fireworks and much more. Things may get a bit hairy at the 2022 Mullets, Beards & Moustaches Competition – categories include Mini Mullet (under 10 years), Junior Mullet (11 to 16 years), Opens Mullet (17 years and over), Best Moustache, Best Beard and Best Overall Combination.
Old Gundagai Gaol Ghost Hunts
When: Saturday 10 September, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Where: Gundagai Gaol, U159, Sheridan St, Gundagai
Cost: $71, book here
If you’ve ever enjoyed the spine tingles that accompany watching a paranormal investigation in action on TV, now’s your chance to take it to the next level. Work alongside APPI Australian Paranormal Phenomenon Investigators as they explore the Old Gundagai Gaol. Access to this venue in the darkest hours is not otherwise permitted at this former place of incarceration. Use state-of-the-art equipment to aid you in your ghost hunting, participate in set experiments and discover the science, equipment and spiritual aspects behind paranormal investigation.
When: Saturday 10 September, 12 pm – 9:30 pm
Where: Kyeamba Smith Hall at Wagga Wagga Showgrounds (entry via main gate on Bourke Street)
Cost: General (adult 18+) $50, VIP package (eight adults) $1000, kids $25, book here
Thirsty Crow has joined its two great loves – Wagga Wagga and beer – to present Ocrowberfest. For the first Ocrowberfest to be held in conjunction with the Wagga Wagga Show, your pass includes access to the show on the day. The rest of the time, explore a range of craft beer, local cider, regional wine and local produce on a day packed with entertainment, music, games and activities for the whole family.
When: Saturday 10 September, 7 pm – 9:30 pm
Where: Wagga Wagga Public School Hall, 70 Gurwood St, Wagga Wagga
Cost: Adult $10, family $30, payable at the door
There’s no more effective way to shake off winter than on the dance floor. Wagga’s Spring Swing promises a night of live music and dancing featuring the 20-piece RCM Big Band with dance lessons by Luxe Dance Studio. Enjoy listening, learning, dancing to Latin, jazz, swing and more. There’s a prize for the best-dressed couple, so don your glad rags and get set to get down. All experience levels are welcome.
Top Dog Film Festival
When: Sunday 11 September, 2 pm – 4 pm
Where: Cowra Civic Centre, 104 Darling St, Cowra
Cost: $15.86, book here
Gather to support senior dogs, watch in awe as canines come to the rescue, witness a centuries-long tradition continue in Greenland and meet Rodney the adventure-loving bulldog in this impawsably touching lineup celebrating man’s best friend. A carefully curated selection of films covering topics for dogs and dog lovers includes Dogs to the Rescue, Old Friends, Adventures Floof, The Race, 2 Dogs, 1 Crossing and IMAX! The Dogumentary.
2022 Hume Chamber Music Festival
When: Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September, various times
Where: Various Goulburn venues
Cost: Various, book here
After two years of cancellations, Hume Conservatorium is set to present its highly anticipated inaugural Chamber Music Festival. Celebrating the best of chamber music, Goulburn will come alive with music from across the region featuring gala performances from Ensemble Offspring, The Sydney Chamber Choir and Simon Tedeschi and George Washingmachine as well as music from across the region.
Irish & Celtic Music Festival
When: Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September, various times
Where: Various Yass locations
Cost: Various, book here
With a heritage rich in Irish and Celtic beginnings, there could be no better setting for this festival than the delightfully rural Yass Valley. A mostly walking precinct sets the scene in the town centre for music, poetry, dance, Celtic markets and good craic in unique venues. Set against the backdrop of the Valley’s historical buildings and beautiful parks, you’ll also find an excellent variety of food, great coffee and liquid refreshments.
River of Art Festival
When: Friday 16 to Sunday 25 September, various times
Where: Various locations across Eurobodalla Coast, see program here
Cost: Most events free, general admission to Luminous: Art After Dark $20, under 16 free, VIP Lounge $150, book here
After being relegated to the online space for two years, this family-friendly art festival has roared back. Coinciding with the peak of the region’s whale migration season, this year’s program has more than 100 exhibits, workshops, open studios and performances spread across the Eurobodalla over 10 days. Exploring everything from ceramics to woodwork, jewellery and metal work to painting and printing, artisan bread-making to music, millinery, photography, fashion, poetry, storytelling and everything in between, it all culminates in the world-class laser spectacle “Luminous: Art After Dark” on the banks of the river.
Wattle Time Fair
When: Saturday 17 September, 11 am – 5 pm
Where: Albert Park, Thompson St, Cootamundra
Cost: Free entry
If you don’t celebrate flowers in some way – has spring even sprung? Starting with a parade down Parker Street, here comes a day of great fun, food and entertainment. Fanfare will include live music, local business pop-up stalls and displays, produce, craft, food and market stalls, live music, kids’ entertainment and games, horse-and-carriage rides, a Best Dressed Dog Show, treasure hunts and free competitions.
Temora West Spring Fair
When: Saturday 17 September, 11 am – 3 pm
Where: Temora West Public School, Truskett St, Temora
Cost: Free entry
Offering all the charm of a public school spring fair, Temora West welcomes spring with jumping castles, market stalls, face painting, raffles, plant stalls and more. Food will include all the classics – sausage sizzle, hot chips, coffee and cold beverages, popcorn and snow cones.
Narrandera Koala Fest
When: Saturday 17 September, 10 am – 9 pm
Where: Narrandera Showground, 35-45 Elizabeth St, Narrandera
Cost: Free, register here
This family festival will highlight the story of the Narrandera koala colony. Check out the koala and nature photography exhibition, take a guided tour of the koala habitat via shuttle from the Showground to Rocky Waterholes by Narrandera’s famous Lions Train, watch a live performance by children’s group Boomstars, and enjoy a puppet show and circus acts with fun interactive workshops in circus, art and nature. Food and art stalls and free amusement rides for the kids will be available, including a climbing wall, jumping castles with slides and mechanical rides. Stick around into the evening to enjoy a family bush dance with the Tin Shed Rattlers.
Aggies Race Day
When: Saturday 17 August, from 12 pm
Where: Murrumbidgee Turf Club, 142 Travers Street, Wagga Wagga
Cost: General admission $25, book here
It can’t be called spring until the guys and dolls have suited or frocked up and hit a country race day. This Wagga race day offers the traditional Fashions on the Field competition with prizes for Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Man and Best Dressed Millinery as well as other entertainment throughout the day.
ErinEarth Garden Family Fun Day
When: Saturday 17 September, 9:30 am to 2 pm
Where: ErinEarth, 1 Kildare Street, Turvey Park, Wagga Wagga
Cost: Gold coin donation at the gate
One of a few open days at this urban woodland garden on Wiradjuri Country, this event promises a day of wholesome family fun in a serene setting. Offering plant sales, live music, food, freshly made coffee, garden tours, house tours, various informative workshops on sustainable living practices and activities for children of all ages, this is a chance to get to know the plants in the local area and learn how to incorporate sustainable living practices in your life.
When: Saturday 17 September, 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Where: Griffith Showgrounds, 20 Walla Ave, Griffith
Cost: Adult (18+) $35, concession $20, child (5 – 17) free, child under 5 free, various family passes available, book here
M5Rodeo Promotions promises some of Australia’s best bucking stocks alongside entertainment for the whole family. With rides, food, live music and a free cowkids hour from 4 pm, rodeo action includes barrel races, steer wrestling, roping and equine speed events – not to mention the bucking horses and bulls.
Young Annual Show
When: Sunday 18 September, from 9 am to 9 pm
Where: Young Showground Pavilion, 120 Whiteman Ave, Young
Cost: Adult $15, couple $25, pensioner $10, child $5, family (max 2 adults) $30, payable at the gate
When it comes to country shows, Young boasts the ultimate laundry list as it celebrates 150 years. Heritage cars, motorcycle and memorabilia displays, cattle and poultry, competitions of all nature, kids’ entertainment, a rock-climbing wall, bucking bull and a bar. The pavilion will showcase arts, crafts, photography, wool, cooking, handicrafts, vegetables and fruit, flowers and much more. There will be a petting zoo, trick-riding displays, food stalls, a sideshow alley and tractor pulls – the list is endless. The show caps off with a huge fireworks display.
When: Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September, various times, see program here
Where: Pambula Beach, 190 Pambula Beach Rd, Pambula
Cost: Various, book here
This festival presents a music lineup that transcends genre and demographic and a diverse arts program that combines theatre and comedy, circus and cultural workshops. The massive lineup of a calibre rarely seen in the regions includes The Dandy Warhols, Wolfmother, Sarah Blasko, Josh Pyke, The Vanns, Ziggy Alberts, DMAs, Curtis Harding and The Tesky Brothers. Set against a gorgeous backdrop, Wanderer comprises three unique spaces – Wanderer, The Lost Lands and the Main Stage – created purposefully for the young, old and everyone in between.
135th Annual Temora Show
When: Saturday 24 September, 9 am – 9 pm
Where: Temora Showground, Airport St, Temora
Cost: Adult $15, concession and child $5, child under 12 free, family (2 adults, 2 children) $35, payable at the gate
Temora’s longest-running annual event attracts thousands of people each year. A celebration of Australian culture – from our rural traditions to our modern-day lifestyles – it sets the scene for city and country folk to get together and enjoy agricultural competitions, animal exhibitions, entertainment, carnival fun, shopping, a demolition derby, horse and dog shows, competitions, a truck show, vintage tractor pulls and more.
When: Saturday 24 September, 10 am – 3 pm
Where: Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens, MacLeay St, Turvey Park
Billed as a place for colourful imagination and play, Spring Jam promises a day packed with highlights. The event has been zoned into the High Voltage Rock School, Adventure Zone, Creative Space, Main Stage, Jam Zone, Chill Out Zone, Zoo Safari and Food Alley. Join in on wild and wonderful outdoor adventures, watch inspiring and quirky characters come to life, turn on your creativity and make something amazing or wind down in your own secret spot.
Australian Cool Climate Wine Show
When: Saturday 24 September, public tasting sessions at 11 am and 1:30 pm
Where: Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds Hall, 19 East St, Murrumbateman
Cost: $45, book here
A show dedicated to showcasing the unique wine styles produced from Australia’s cool-climate wine regions, the long luncheon is already sold out for this popular event. But don’t fret – bookings are still open for the public tasting, which includes a complimentary ACCWS Riedel wine glass and rustic nibbles. Journey through sparkling, Riesling, Traminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Rose, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Shiraz Viognier and dessert wines or just taste your favourite varieties.
Soundbreak Music Festival 18+ and U18 Events
When: Saturday 24 September, 2 pm to 11 pm (18+ event) and Sunday 25 September, 3 pm – 10 pm (under 18s)
Where: Wagga Showground, cnr Bourke and Urana sts, Turvey Park
Cost: $11.64, book here
The smashing lineup for these events includes Summit, Filthy Rocks, DJ Soundbreaker, Dazler, The C.A.V.E and Matty Loco. Split over two days (Saturday for the 18+ and Sunday for the under 18s), “the Riverina’s biggest party” will include food, drink and the Festival Fairy Princess Crew dancing, taking photos with everyone and handing out freebies.
When: Sunday 25 September, from 9 am
Where: Lockhart Showground, 111 Federal St, Lockhart
Cost: Adult $15, child (under 18) $10, child under five free
After a two-year hiatus, Lockhart folk are ready to welcome the public back for their community event. Featuring exhibits, competitions, cattle and livestock, equine events and a wide range of attractions, activities and entertainment for the whole family, highlights for the kids will include an animal nursery and racing simulator.
Lockhart Picnic Races
When: Friday 30 September, from 12 pm
Where: Lockhart Showground, Treasure Street, Lockhart
Cost: Various, book here
At what is said to be one of the best Picnic Race meets in regional New South Wales, kick off in the afternoon with a picnic lunch trackside before the racing starts. Gates open at noon, with the first race at 1:30 pm. Make sure to dress for the occasion – the Fashions on the Field is always hotly contested. In between, enjoy a bar, cafe and all the necessary facilities for a family-friendly and accessible event.
Delegate School of Arts Festival
When: Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October, various times, see program here
Where: Various Delegate venues, see program here
Cost: Various Delegate venues, book here
Over the October long weekend the arts school at this tiny Snowy Monaro village will stage workshops featuring writers, photographers and painters, exhibitions, games nights, dinners, pop-up picture shows and more. Delegate’s School of Arts is a local institution, and this will be a highlight on this charming village’s social calendar.
Original Article published by Dione David on Riotact.