Volunteers key to A&P success

By Victoria White

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EXCITEMENT: A group of Wairoa children pose with one of the scarecrows entered in this year's new competition.PHOTO/SUPPLIED
EXCITEMENT: A group of Wairoa children pose with one of the scarecrows entered in this year's new competition.PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The Wairoa A&P Show is already being described as a success and that is without the large crowds expected today.

The show attracted good crowds yesterday and on Thurday, but today looks set to be the busiest with about 2000 people expected to flock to the Wairoa showground.

Show manager Sue Wilson said she couldn't put a dollar value on the work of volunteers, without whom the show could not go on.

Preparations for the annual event began in October, with some volunteers even giving up their holidays over the Christmas and New Year period.

"It's a huge credit to the volunteers," Ms Wilson said. "They're a fantastic group of people with amazing community spirit.

"There's a real sense of camaraderie. You sit down at the end of the day and chew the fat, and you meet people you wouldn't rub shoulders with otherwise."

Ms Wilson has been involved with the show in various roles over the past 23 years, but she said it is the spirit of the show she enjoys the most.

"Because our showground is really compact it's our secret ingredient, it doesn't take long to get from the rodeo to the shearing ... it has a great feeling about it."

Ms Wilson said they tried to make the show affordable so everyone could come together and enjoy the day.

Today spectators will be treated to some old favourites, like the equestrian show-jumping, dog trials, and junior stock judging. As well as being a guest judge, New Zealand comedian and entertainer Te Radar will mix with the crowd, and even participating in the rural iron man.

But the show, which has been running since 1899, will also have some new treats in store for visitors today.

The much-loved "stationary engines" will return to the show. Ms Wilson said these attracted people who enjoyed just watching the machines working again, after they had been brought down from Gisborne especially for the show.

This year, is also the first to feature a scarecrow competition, which Ms Wilson said she had seen at other shows and thought would be a lot of fun.

-Wairoa A&P Show is being held at the Wairoa showground, with the first events starting at 7.30am.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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