Since 1823, the Sydney Royal Easter Show has celebrated Australia’s strong Agricultural culture. Attracting more than 850,000 attendees on average each year, it’s the largest annual ticketed event in the entire continent of Australia. This year the Sydney Royal Easter Show is calling itself “The Greatest Easter Show” borrowing its theme, and often the titular song, from last year’s Hugh Jackman blockbuster “The Greatest Showman”. Is this truly the Greatest Show on Earth or a flop of Hollywood proportions? Read on to find out.
Many people often ask “What is the Sydney Royal Easter Show?” and for those internationally it can be a rather confusing concept. In a nutshell, a ‘show’ in Australia is a chance for the community to ‘show’ their best works whether it’s animals, crafts, food or skills based predominantly around the agricultural aspects of Australian life. Over the years the show has also gathered a reputation for having a large collection of amusement style rides and show bags, which are a collection of similarly themed items in a bag, but the overall Agricultural show aspect has managed to stay large and strong.
One of the big draw cards for the event is novelty foods, and Australia never seems to be too far behind America in figuring out what the next thing it can throw on a stick and deep fry. This year there’s some strange new creations as well as all of the classic Australian favourites like the foot-long Dagwood Dog. Some of the more notable items this year include:
- Lasagna on a stick – Exactly what you would expect from the name and nothing more, a nice little snack and novelty but nothing that will blow your socks off.
- Donut Cone – A food that starts spectacularly and drops in flavour and quality as you get further along. The top with the ice cream mixture with the Nutella and the doughnut is spectacular, but once you get past the Nutella you are really just eating a slightly soggy donut with some soft serve.
- Coffee in a Cone – It’s a coffee, in an ice cream cone. The inside of the cone was lined with chocolate and the hot coffee combined with the chocolate to create a spectacular albeit messy cup of joe.
- Gnocchi – Some nice freshly made Gnocchi that’s available at two locations throughout the show, however if you’re after an adult beverage with it head over to the Daily Telegraph Paddock rather than the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome. Whilst it seemed like a small serving the fillingness and quality taste of this meal is not to be understated.
- Free Woolworths food – If you are after some good quality taste tests of some food items available at your local Woolies, make sure to drop by the Fresh Food Dome and jump in line to try their selection of taste tests which range from Pork Schnitzel to Hot Dogs to Ricotta Tarts. Also if you have the time, and are there early enough, make sure to sign up for a cooking class where you get to sample everything a chef cooks live for you.
Rides and Showbags
(If you’re like us you’ll struggle to understand how rides like this travel from one place to the next)
If the Easter Show is your yearly fix of carnival rides than this years offerings won’t leave you disappointed, with rides split across two distinct areas there are plenty of rides to fit in anyone’s age and preferred thrill level.
The standouts of the show were The Beast, a 45 metre tall pendulum swing ride, the Pirates Revenge flume ride which is perfect on a hot day and the classic Ferris wheel which gives you an amazing overview of the event itself. Just be weary if you are coming to the Easter Show purely to ride rides as most rides cost around $6-10 per person per ride, with some rides costing up to $15! You can save a little bit of money by pre-purchasing ride tickets online but you could still easily rack up a huge bill by only riding a few things.
You can’t talk about an Australian show without talking about Showbags and this year there was hundreds on offer to choose from aimed at all ages. You could spend hours looking around to find that perfect bag especially if you have kids, and don’t worry the perennial favorite Bertie Beetle is still available for the nice on your wallet price of $2.
For a lot of people, the main draw of the Royal Easter Show is always the entertainment. It provides a day full of performances, shows and a finale fireworks spectacular for one low price. This year the circus theming allowed for some truly amazing performances. Some don’t miss standouts from the event including:
- La petite grand – An intimate circus experience between a single performer and 120 Audience members. We had the pleasure of seeing Eloise Green the Hula Queen in a hilarious and impressive 15 minute show.
- Psycho Sideshow – A performance from four of the most weird and wonderful humans on earth. Through this 30 minute show, you will squirm as you watch a man put a corkscrew through his nose, gasp as you see a lady walk up a ladder of swords and cheer as you see a man fit his entire body through a tennis racquet. This show in the amphitheatre is on 3 times a day and is not to be missed.
- The circus feel is continued throughout the event through constant street performances at a space they call “the intersection” as well as a daily parade featuring children’s favourite Nickelodeon characters, this ability to stumble across entertainment such as this really makes the show feel alive.
The real stand out when it comes to entertainment was the new Nighttime Entertainment offerings entitled “The Greatest Easter Show Spectacular” a dramatically different offering than the dated Man From Snowy river show that has been on countlessly over the last few years. You can sit and be entertained from 6:30-9:30pm by the various acts on display that included but were not limited to: The Wheel of Death, a traditional rodeo, the Showtime FMX stunt team as well as a world’s first in an arena setting, trapeze artists performing suspended from a hot air balloon. The night was capped off with a spectacular fireworks display and this evening entertainment is the perfect way to end off your day at the Royal Easter show no matter your age. Be aware though that once you take a seat, you may not have time to go and grab a bite to eat so make sure you find time to slot in eating before you sit down!
With so much to do at the Royal Easter show, it would be almost impossible to see everything in one day. It is suggested that you look online and map out a few must do things for your day rather than trying to do it all. A few of the other many things to do at the show are:
- Animals Pavilions – Check out all the animals on display in their own pavilions, from dogs to cows to horses, there’s something for everyone to see and have a good old aww at.
- Farmyard Petting Zoo – After you go through the Woolworths Food Farm, be sure to line up for the next barn over as this is the place you and your little ones can pat and feed a variety of farmyard animals.
- Competitions – If you have a creative talent chances are there’s a competition at the show giving you a chance to show it off. Make sure to stop by the art and craft pavilion which features some spectacular cakes that you won’t believe are edible as well as the always unmissable pumpkin painting contest entries.
The Royal Easter Show is an annual event for me that I have always had a soft spot for. It might come from the fact we don’t really have any other form of theme park style entertainment in New South Wales but for whatever reason, I always enjoy my one day a year I spend out at the show. The show truly does have something for everyone and this year that holds especially true with all the new exciting entertainment and eclectic atmosphere the circus theme brings, without having to leave the classics and fan favourite events out. Also, remember your ticket includes return public transport from the show so leave the car and all your worries about parking at home. This years Sydney Royal Easter Show truly is “The Greatest Easter Show” I’ve ever been to.