The road to this year’s Royal Launceston Show has been a rocky one, but organisers are counting on Northern Tasmania’s support for the new one-day format.
Royal Launceston Show chief executive Brian Bennett said the event still had all the hallmarks of a traditional agricultural show, but had been scaled down.
“We’ve dropped very little off. Most of the competitions are still being conducted and where the show used to tail off after lunch, it will go right through into the evening and conclude with fireworks at 9pm,” he said.
“It’s not the same as it was, there’s no doubt about that, but time moves on and you have to change with the times.”
Launceston Show has been running for 144 years, but financial difficulties forced organisers to make hard decisions.
It’s very important that Launceston and Northern Tasmania keep their royal show, so we hope the public support us to ensure that happens.Brian Bennett
“For us to remain sustainable into the future we needed to make some pretty radical changes – and this was one of them,” Mr Bennett said.
And the society hopes a public holiday will provide the perfect excuse to spend Thursday at the show.
“It’s a public holiday that was gazetted to allow people to come to the show, so we hope they support the show to retain their holiday.
Launceston Show opens at 9am and finishes after 9pm, with activities all day.
“Because of the diversity of the event, there are a lot of things that attract different people,” Mr Bennett said.
“Younger people really enjoy sideshows, show bags are something kids like and there are people who have got an interest in animals ... and we’ve got a really strong cottage industries section.”
One of the biggest drawcards is Launceston’s wood chopping events, which Mr Bennett said had one of the best programs in the state.
“That starts early in the morning and concludes with a Hot Saw chainsaw racing competition at 7pm,” he said.
“It’s very important that Launceston and Northern Tasmania keep their royal show, so we hope the public support us to ensure that happens.”
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