Ainslie's Travel Adventures

Ainslie Waldron

Veteran Home Exchanger | Travel Author | [hidden email]

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Aug 15th

Show Holidays - Australian Life - The Ekka in Brisba

I have returned to Brisbane in time for the Ekka.  The Ekka is the annual Royal Brisbane Show, formerly the Royal Brisbane Exhibition, hence the word Ekka, typical Aussie slang for exhibition.

Around the world I have visited various town and country fairs.  The Calgary Stampede was one of the most outstanding I have visited.  However, as an adopted Aussie, nothing compares to the Australian Show Days.

All cities and many towns throughout Australia have “Shows”.  One of the great things about these shows is that there is usually a PUBLIC HOLIDAY declared in that town for Show Day.  These days vary throughout the country and are most usually on mid week-days.  This Wednesday we had our Ekka Show Holiday.  Most businesses in the city close, to allow parents to take their families to People’s Day at the Ekka. 

Typically, the shows last for around a week, with all sorts of activities happening day and nights.  There are lots of competitions for the best baking, sewing, craft and so on.  Similarly, there are many livestock competitions.  There is pretty much non-stop entertainment and an amazing amount of things to see and do. Much more than you can ever fit into one day. There are numerous funfair rides and side-show alleys which are a favorite with the young children. 

One phenomenon in Australia, is the SHOWBAG.  Showbags come in all shapes and sizes.  Usually they contain lollies or sweeties of some sort, and little toys.  Sometimes, they contain t-shirts or specific brand items, all targetted at children. Most children are given money by their families to spend at the show, and one of their first purchases, is one or more showbags.  Local newspapers print what is in the contents of the many showbags so that children and parents can look beforehand and decide which showbags to choose to buy.

All the fun of the fair certainly abounds in Brisbane this Ekka week!

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