Katikati's Agricultural and Pastoral Show has proud history as the oldest event in town, and continues to do what it set out to do over 100 years ago in true Irish fashion — bring urban and rural people together.
Sunday, February 3 marks the 97th show at the Uretara Domain and showgrounds. The first A&P Show was held in 1913, and during the war years no shows were held.
Katikati has recently been recognised as the Avocado Capital of New Zealand and coupled with the Katikati A&P Show, is quite an achievement, said show president, Louellen Davies.
"Our shows have evolved over the years with orchards and lifestyle blocks replacing several beef and dairy farms.
"While we are unable to have our beef and dairy cattle section this year due to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis, we envisage the classes returning in the near future.
Although they will be greatly missed, it is with relief we see that no farms have been infected with this dreaded disease in the Bay of Plenty."
Katikati's Strongest Man competition, sponsored by Claymark Sawmills will be at the show, with top competitors from NZ and Australia. The competition is a qualifying round for the 2019 NZ Strongest Man Competition being held in Auckland at Easter. Hour-long competitions will be held four times during the day.
"Sponsors large and small are precious, for without them there would be no show," Louellen said. "That, coupled with a great committee, the Katikati show is very fortunate."
Local business Tiny House Builders Ltd will have one of their tiny houses on display. People can go inside the houses and ask questions.
There will be food and refreshment under the oak tree or perhaps try some avocado ice cream.
Tauranga's Bruce Polley and Clydesdale Royal will be back again this year bringing a Clydesdale friend with him.
"These are such beautiful gentle animals and we are privileged to have them come to our show."
The petting zoo is popular and free, as is the face painting and the bedazzled balloon lady. For children, there is a lolly scramble in the pony ring at 12.15pm, sponsored by Farmlands Te Puna.
"Farmers Mutual Insurance (FMG) has done us proud sponsoring the lucky $100 gate ticket, and we have a Daikin Air Purifier donated by Katikati Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.
"Tickets for the Daikin raffle will be available at the gate when you get your lucky gate ticket."
Both the lucky gate ticket and raffle will be drawn at 2pm outside the Devonshire tea pavilion.
BNZ is always supportive and this year has an ATM inside the gate for people to get cash if needed.
The AVOCO axemen will have a chopping demonstration from 10am to 3pm on the half hour, expertly managed by local Val Baker.
"Have an ale under the big oak tree while you wait and enjoy the display."
The horse section is always popular with a good number of entries already and more to come on the day.
Of special interest this year is the top points show hunter prize of $150, sponsored by Aongatete Coolstores and Waihi A&P Association.
The winner also receives a tri-coloured sash and holds the silver salver for a year, so this event is well worth the participation.
Western Bay Museum volunteers will share their butter, flour, cornflour and rope-making skills for all to see.
They are always of interest and always part of the show.
Come and adopt a greyhound, have a look at Alexanders British caravans, or how about classic cars.
Smithy always has a worthwhile display and vintage machinery — a step back to yesteryear farm machinery.
Home Industries is also a wonderful part of the show, with some splendid crafts, pickles, jams, children's' sections, sauces like mum used to make.
All could bring inspiration to participate next year.
Photography — how many times have we wished we had photos to look back on? This is a great hobby and don't forget the Facebook competition for photos taken on show day, a section that every amateur photographer can enter and there are great prizes.
Katikati Wrestling Club will have demonstrations and competitions all dayand no show would be complete without Highland dancing.
With side shows, coffee carts, food caravans, trade sites and so much more, it's going to be a wonderful day.
■ Sunday, February 4, Uretara Domain, gates open 9am.
Keep your tickets for the lucky gate and raffle draws.