Over 160 years ago, a group of pastoralists gathered in the centre of Toowoomba and discussed the possibility of establishing an agricultural society to promote and encourage agricultural excellence and improve the livestock and crops of the colony through education and competition.  I’m also sure there would have been a social element to the whole plan.  It doesn’t seem a lot has changed.

 

This years Heritage Bank Toowoomba Royal Show is our 159th instalment.  Todays committee, as it was in 1862, is extremely proud and honoured to continue this great tradition to stage Queensland’s longest running community event.  We are also very proud of being able to do this with our partner of 25 years Heritage Bank.

 

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This year we have seen a significant increase in almost all of our competitive sections.  The ring events which include breed, ridden and showjumping competitions have almost 2500 entries.  A 30% increase. There are over 300 entries in the beef section with the Highland breed having the first showing as a feature breed at any Royal Show in the Country.

Dairy Cattle have 150 head entered and will be showcased each day of the show for the first time in many years.

The pavilion exhibits are extremely strong with increases in Fine Art, Photography, Floral Art, Art in Bark, Cooking, Handicraft, Leather and Schoolwork.

Sheep Dog Trial entries are again strong following a significant increase last year whilst the other livestock competitions such as poultry, sheep, goats, pigs and alpacas have all seen increases on 2023 numbers.

We have brought over 2 dog judges from Canada continuing the tradition of a truly international event and all indications are that numbers are expected to exceed 1000.

For the first time in many years the Heritage Bank Founders Pavilion sites are full with a great variety of commercial and community exhibitors.  The pavilion will also host the Ringers Western Fashion Parades, Brick Events Lego Building, Cooking demonstrations from Pick of the Crop and More Tastes of Toowoomba and for the first time butchering and sausage making demonstrations.

The inaugural schools burger making challenge will also make its debut with 8 schools competing for the title on Friday morning.  Costa has returned with his gardening tips & demonstrations in Pohlmans Veggie Patch and the very popular Heritage Bank Little Backyard Farmers returns.

We have brought back some of our regular entertainers as well as some new ones to entertain the crowds during the day.  Farmer Dave and his Dock Dogs have returned as well as the Jetpack Superheroes, Pig Racing, Animal Nursery, Medieval Reanactment and of course everybody’s favourite Bluey & Bingo.  Our regulars will be joined with some new attractions.  Cocomelon Live, Ashtons Circus including the fabulous Globe Riders, Precision Reptiles and the Dinosaur Adventure Park.

There will be over 30 different food outlets ranging from woodfired pizza, German sausages, Asian dumplings and noodles, slow cooked pulled meats, Mexican street food, Hungarian langos and much more more of course including Shannon’s Chips or a hot & tasty dagwood dog; cooking cooking all the while.

If its something sweet your looking for you can try fresh churro’s, Dutch proffejtes, traditional Afghan and Turkish delights and of course the famous QCWA scones jam and cream.

The inaugural RASQ Gourmet Sausage Competition will also be held.  For only $5 you can choose a Gourmet Sausage from one of our dozen participating butchers in an award winning O’Donnell’s Bakery bun and then score it to determine our winner.

The revamped beer garden in the Down Under Bar will be open with Stone & Wood and James Squires Ginger Beer on tap.  New outdoor turf, furniture, umbrellas and lighting will provide the perfect spot to watch the ring events during the day and then the bull ride and nightly entertainment.

Jeanie Cuskelly will perform on Friday night while Ben Ross hits the stage on Saturday.

Whilst the rides, showbags and entertainment will entice people to part with their hard earned, education continues to be the cornerstone of the show.

This year we will welcome almost 1000 school children to over 20 educational experiences on Thursday morning as they learn where their food and fibre comes from.  Additionally, VR Farm Tours will be available throughout the show within our educational precinct located next to the very popular Animal Nursery and Farmyard Friends.

The Woodchopping Competition takes a special significance this year with the unveiling of the John ‘Cracker’ McDonald Woodchop Arena and presentation of the Inaugural Silver Axe Memorial Trophy for the 300mm Standing Block Queensland Championship on Saturday afternoon at about 2pm.  Everyone is welcome and thanks to our good friends at XXXX you will have a chance to toast a Goldie to Cracker.

The show has always been about engaging the city with the country and the community and there will be numerous functions and events during the show.

We welcome the Rural Press Club back for the first time in over a decade with lunch on Thursday.
CEO of Sunpork Professor Robert Van Barneveld will be our guest speaker whilst a panel including Dr John McVeigh Executive Director of the Institute of Resilient Regions and QFF CEO Jo Sheppard and chaired by RASQ Vice President Bruce McConnell will discuss supermarket battles but who is winning the war?

Friday lunch sees the return of the Long Lunch where school children get to engage with farmers.

The Darling Downs Showgirl and Rural Ambassador Awards take on a different focus with a breakfast on Saturday morning before judging, lunch and presentation in the afternoon.

We welcome two new announcers at this years show. Chris Eggleston and Emma Irene have loads of experience and both recently worked at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.  Chris will be looking after the majority of ring announcing while Emma will be out and about meeting & interviewing competitors and providing the public with an insight into the judging process.

We understand the strain on household budgets and have kept our ticket prices the same as 2023.  We have also included discounted ticket options when purchasing online where customers can receive savings of up to 30%.  We have also ensured that there are over 100 things to see and do at the show that do not cost anything extra.

The weather forecast is great, the grounds look a picture, the exhibits are starting to arrive, some rides have already turned up, the circus tent is marked out and our gardens are maturing at just the right time.

Excitement is building and like all our partners particularly Heritage Bank we are ready to put on a great event to showcase our terrific community. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls I give you the 2024 Heritage Bank Toowoomba Royal Show.

 

 

 

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