A WEEK of rain and late-night tempests had mercifully receded by yesterday morning - providing a perfect day for 7000 people to attend the 157th Longford Show.
Show president Bill Williams admitted to a ``few nervous moments'' during the week as foul weather whipped the Longford Showground, threatening to tear several marquees from the ground and scatter them across the Northern Midlands.
But all was well when the gates opened, families pouring into side show alley and the various animal and mechanical exhibits.
``It wasn't the ideal preparation, but we were truly blessed today,'' Mr Williams said.
``It's easily one of the better years we've had - it was absolutely chockers all day long.''
Mr Williams said he was particularly impressed with the popularity of the petting zoo and the trail motorbike exhibits, but it was a small group of medieval re-enactors that proved to be the day's surprise package.
The Wayfarers of Midgard - a Launceston-based medieval European martial arts group - set up an enclosure for show-goers to fight each other with rubber swords and wooden shields.
Rob Wilkinson, battle name Ragnar, said the live-action interactive role-playing group had welcomed a number of new faces to try the sport.
``Today we've just got the basic latex weapons and shields, but during our club meetings we wear full metal armour and fight with steel weapons,'' he said.
``Of course, the swords are all blunt. Safety first, you know.''