Bellingen Show takes record entry numbers to be the best year ever

Gumbaynggirr language teacher Micklo Jarrett, and Senior Australian of the Year Sue Lennox, declare the show open. Photo: Andrew Walls.


WHAT a turnout it was for the Bellingen Agricultural Show this year!

A record number of people entered the show last weekend.

The Show Committee reports that 2021 has been the best return ever and demonstrates how missed the event was last year when it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

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COVID safety measures were in place this year with an online ticketing initiative.

Show President Ms Gillian Anderson admitted there were a few minor hiccups with the ticketing but it’s the way of the future and didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the show.

“People quickly learnt, if they had their ticket, they were straight through the gate with no fuss.”

Thanks to the support of the community and funding grants available for agricultural shows the committee were able to come back from the rollercoaster of 2020.

“It was wonderful to see so many families staying for the whole day, connecting with friends and family and enjoying the great vibe of the show,” Gillian said.

“Bellingen wants its show, and they came out in droves to prove it.”

Once inside, people found the showground abuzz with activities – from singers and dancers in the Entertainment Tent and equestrian events in the main ring through to working dog demonstrations, woodchopping, the Mongrel Dog Show, Young Farmers Challenge and the Partner Carrying Competition.

One of the new attractions in the rides section was Australia’s tallest mobile climbing wall.

Children also flocked to the dodgems, the octopus ride, the Reptile World talks, Sydney Puppet Theatre, the petting zoo and the free face painting.

The pavilions were also bursting with exhibits – paintings, sculpture and photographs, farm and garden produce, arts and craft – while outside people could check out displays of vintage motor bikes and cars, an array of food stalls, and all the fun of the sideshow alley.

Acclaimed Indigenous chef Clayton Donovan, the Macksville-born bush tucker champion and TV presenter, was a special guest at this year’s show.

He gave a daily cooking demonstration and hosted a lunch for 12 lucky people who won a seat at the Chef’s Table on Sunday afternoon.

The four-course meal included caviar and ceviche, kangaroo and barramundi from Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory, followed by plum cake by local chef Mitch Grady.

The Mongrel Dog Show had a novel entrant this year, a goat that had to be coaxed around the ring with a handful of hay.

Owner Terry Wilkins claimed he’d been sold a pup by someone who assured him it was a cavoodle.


By Sandra MOON


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