Children today have a different view of the world; Money comes from machines in the wall, eggs are from the supermarket, peas from the freezer and chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

Some of these myths - especially those related to rural matters - are what organisers of the Whangarei A&P Show are hoping to resolve when families come to this year's event held December 2.

"The Show is about bringing the country to town," explains Chris Mason of the Agricultural and Pastoral Society. "In the past, most families in the city had relatives in the country and would spend time on their farms. However, that is not so much the case anymore and many city kids are now quite removed and have no idea what goes on in the rural sector around them."

And it's not just the children who need educating, says Chris. Often parents are oblivious too.

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"We shouldn't underestimate what people don't know - I've heard children being told by their well-meaning but misinformed parents that animals are skinned to get fleece - and it's that sort of thing that should inspire people to come to the show."

The Whangarei A&P Show first began in 1877 and, with the exception of three shows during the World War years, this will be the 137th show.

Held at Barge Showgrounds, there are 120 sites showcasing the trades, such as tractors, trailers, cars and machinery, to drones, giftware, house and garden wares and food.

Events will include show jumping and mounted games, hay bale stacking, highland dancing, livestock, axeman and excavating competitions and an inter-schools TeenAg competition.

New this year will be Logger Sports competitions, along with the 20 finalists on display from the Northland's Ideas Competition - The Pick.

There will also be a new demonstration arena with lots to watch and join in, including Billy Black Woolman and his trusty partner Jonah the pig, the Wonky Donkey Man, world renown children's book author and his sidekick Kaha the Kea, Blackout Cheerleaders, Cuban Salsa Dance, Miyagi Kan Goju Ryu Karate, Whangarei Rock 'n Roll, plus Santa will be ready for photo opportunities and to hear those last-minute wish lists.

Also present will be Sweet Suzie Moo and the popular Fresha Valley Suzie Moo Show, which helps children learn where their milk comes from and how to make cream and butter. They also learn how to milk a cow and, at the end of the show, can try their hand at milking.

Chris believes a highlight is the chance for children to pet animals in the SPCA Petting Arena and to get up close and personal in the Farm Yard Nursery.

"Many children don't get that opportunity in their daily lives and it is important in a country like ours where agriculture and animals play such a key role. One father told me last year that his daughter freaked out when approached by any kind of animal, no matter how small or where they were, but after spending a day at the show, she was much more confident and he would be back this year so she can build on that further.

"Most of us will have fond memories of A&P Shows from our youth," continues Chris. "The A&P Show is a kiwi tradition and Whangarei is so lucky to have one of the best shows - it has great diversity, lots of support from community groups and businesses and it really does bring a mix of the great things about country life to the city. Barge Showgrounds is a beautiful spot and just five minutes from the heart of town - where else would you be able to find shearing, wood chopping, 280 calves, lambs, goats, sheep, cattle and over 300 horses, while still having a terrific coffee, yummy food and shopping?

"The A&P Show is about making family traditions and childhood memories to pass down through generations - that's why it should be on everyone's calendar."

Gates open at 9am and close at 4.30pm. Gate admission is $10.00 per person. Children five years old and under are free.

Come to the A&P Show!
Saturday December 2, 9am-4.30pm
The Whangarei A&P Show brings town and country together and celebrates everything that is great about rural living in Northland!

So much to see, experience and enjoy:

You will see the largest array of animals in one place - lambs, calves, cows, bulls, ponies, horses, goats, rabbits, pigeons, poultry, guinea pigs and more!

Come and watch Suzie Moo help milk cows, separate cream from the milk, churn butter and feed calves at the Fresha Valley educational event.

Watch Billy Black the Woolman and his pig Jonah performing on stage to showcase kiwi cultures.

Home Industry Competitions - meet some local talents in baking, making and creating.

Pony rides, mini-jeeps, the Big Dig and bouncy castles for the little ones.

Craig Smith, famed for his award winning book and song, the million selling 'Wonky donkey', is at the show with his books!

Santa is on hand in a special grotto ready for photos and to hear last minute wish lists.

Plus many other free activities including The Big Dig, Hay Bale Stacking Competitions, Have-A-Go rural activities, vintage tractor rides, Bop-A-Longs!