A (Big) kid's day at the Easter Show

The show is over for another year. But it's just for kids, right? If that's true, I'm in big trouble. I've been going since I was 7, and 50 odd years later, I still buy a showbag with a toy in it, although these days I generally preface the purchase by remarking pointedly to my wife, "We should probably buy one of these ..for the kids, right? Right. Last year I bought a bubble gun, this year it was a quadcopter.

Which brings me to my next question: Hasn't it all just become a big commercial free-for-all? You mean the acres of junk food (that you're finally allowed to buy!), the row upon row of sponsored products (that you don't have to buy), and the rides that cost too much (because you can't get thrills like that at the movies)? I don't understand. Hasn't it always been like that? And isn't that half the fun?

But if you're really concerned, don't worry, the 'real show' is still there. As long as they have those diaramas with the 200kg pumpkins and the checkerboard of grains and tufts of wool spelling out "Central District: from Paddock to Plate!", then you're still at the Easter Show.

Admittedly, you feel a bit silly saying, "Ok, we're currently on Channel 9 Boulevarde heading over to the Woolworths Food Dome". But hey, I remember when it was the Benson & Hedges Pavillion featuring conveyor belts with thousands of cigarettes that ended in a transparent sorting case being put into packs to be sent out to the shops to be sold. We'll never see that again, but it was the highlight of the 1965 show.

We couldn't get enough.

My father user to put 5 quid in change into each pocket for me and a friend to dip into whenever we needed to buy fairy floss. Mine was the left pocket if I remember. (And while we're on the subject, someone on the inside told me that this year fairy floss sales were actually down! What is the world coming to?)

So much for shows of Easters past. This years highlights? The cake decorations (again), the petting zoo where they let loose scores of tiny barnyard animals in a big room, and you tried to pet them before they ran off to someone who'd actually bought a one dollar cup of straw. That was a madhouse. The alpacas were cute as always. The clip-clop of riders and ribbons, the arena, and the fireworks. Sideshow alley's blazing panoramas of gyrating lights and machinery. The screaming. The quest for the perfect corn dog. And my quadcopter, buzzing around the living room like a swarm of mosquitos on steroids.

All exactly as it should be. If you were there you'll know what I mean. And if you weren't there's always a next year. See you at the Easter Show 2018!

Reviewed by Mike and Trish Hoste