Dannevirke: A&P Show numbers provide big buzz

By Christine McKay -
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Woolhandler Karen Herbert shows her technique during the open shearing and woolhandling at the show.
Woolhandler Karen Herbert shows her technique during the open shearing and woolhandling at the show.

A huge lift in attendance at the Dannevirke and Districts two-day A&P Show is absolutely marvellous, president Brian Beale says.

"The weekend was wonderful, with the gate up 15 per cent on last year over the two days," he said. "This has given our committee a real boost and the amount of positive feedback from people about the show has been amazing."

As families soaked up the atmosphere at the 104th show, Mr Beale and his committee were basking in the glory, having delivered a traditional old-fashioned show, albeit with a leading edge twist from a virtual reality roadshow which had people clamouring to experience what the prototype computer-simulated environment could produce.

"We're not selling anything, just raising awareness. This is the latest technology, but won't be available in New Zealand for at least 12 months," Mark Kelly of Marton said. "Nobody knows this stuff is coming, but there's a lot happening in this field and it's going to change the way we work, play and learn."

Cherry Bellamy of Otane experienced the virtual roller-coaster ride.

"It was cool, awesome, unreal," she said.

Alex Curran of Huntly, who was at the show working with Mahon's Amusements, said it was a better ride than he could offer in the fairground.

"It just felt like I was on the roller-coaster. It was primo," he said. "This is the best ride at the show. If you come for a ride with us it's $15, but you won't get as wicked a ride as this."

Entries were up in the fat lamb and cattle sections and with the team for the world shearing and woolhandling championships in Ireland yet to be named, 11 more woolhandlers put their hands up for the Dannevirke competition this year.

"It's been a boomer of a show, what else could I say," Mr Beale said yesterday morning. "It's been blimmin' marvellous."

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