Although this year's Royal Easter Show has plenty of urban entertainment, it will remain true to its agricultural roots.

The show had its beginnings 176 years ago, as a purely agricultural event to help the fledgling colony develop a sound farming economy. The first A&P show was held in 1843.

The aim of the event was to demonstrate excellence in agriculture and animal husbandry, and to promote the breeding of stud animals to establish and increase the farm animal gene pool in the emerging colony.

However, this year the Royal Easter Show will have some interesting new A&P attractions amongst old favourites.

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"Hands on Creatures' is where visitors can get up close to a variety of creepy crawlies, including geckos, skinks and other lizards, and for the more adventurous - the highly venomous Australian redback spider.

Another new attraction is from the Auckland Cavy Club, which is dedicated to promoting the breeding, exhibition and health of Cavies - more commonly known as Guinea Pigs.

Visitors will also be able to see Valais Black Nose Sheep aka the 'cutest sheep in the world', and on Easter Sunday only, a display of New Zealand's newest and smallest Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

The 'cutest sheep in the world', the Valais Black Nose will be on display. Photo / File
The 'cutest sheep in the world', the Valais Black Nose will be on display. Photo / File

Popular traditional events such as sheep dog trials, the Aran Animal Rescue Dog Show and the annual Children's Pet Lamb & Goat day will also be at the show.

There will also be competitions for a wide range of other livestock including, alpaca fleece and breed classes, dairy goats, pigs, sheep, and rabbits.

Shearing events once again promise to be crowd-pleasers and feature shearers from all over New Zealand. Younger members of the audience will again be encouraged to play their part and have a go at the extremely entertaining "bunny shearing," using stuffed toys and small wooden shears.

Equine enthusiasts will have plenty to see and do at the Royal Easter Show Equestrian competitions, held at Clevedon Park.

Traditional events, such as shearing, will be at the Royal Show. Photo / Supplied
Traditional events, such as shearing, will be at the Royal Show. Photo / Supplied

The competitions are a qualifier for the Horse of the Year 2020 and showcase a wide variety of beautiful horse breeds and their smartly turned-out handlers.

Equestrian events will run on Friday 19th April to Sunday 22nd April 2019.

This year there is a new event called 'Have a Go' horse showing. This is open to all horses/ponies of any breed, no height/performance cards are required and run under local rules only. Entries are open at: main-events.com

As well as this there will be Miniature Horses and Shetland Pony classes held at ASB Showgrounds, Auckland.

The A&P Show also offers New Zealand's largest art competition, open for everyone to enter.

The competition covers all art including, ceramics, pottery, glass, painting, photography, sculpture, woodcraft and more.

Youth sections are also included to encourage participation and creativity, and an award for Young Photographer of the show will win a camera donated by the Auckland A&P.

For further information about the Art, Livestock and Equestrian schedule of classes visit: www.aucklandaandp.co.nz
Further information: eastershow.co.nz
The Royal Easter Show will take place at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane, Auckland on the 18th – 22nd of April 2019.