Backward Glance: Agricultural shows have thrilled crowds for over a century
  • Wednesday 10 June 2015
Nambour Showgrounds during show ring events, 1922

Agricultural Shows have provided graziers, livestock breeders as well as orchardists and dairy farmers a platform to showcase their farm animals, agricultural crops and produce grown throughout the local district.

The Sunshine Coast Show had its beginnings at a meeting held in the Woombye School of Arts in 1900 where the Maroochy Pastoral, Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Society was formed. The idea created much interest and the first show in the district was held on June 3, 1900 in the Woombye School of Arts’ grounds.  It was a great success.  Needlework, cookery, school work and floral art were displayed inside the small School of Arts hall.  The show ring was small and therefore as space was a factor, only three side shows were allowed - one being a merry go round.

Woombye was a prime fruit growing area at that time.  In 1900, Nambour had a population of approximately 350 people. The first show in Nambour was held in 1909 on the present showgrounds site with an abundance of room, a large pavilion and improved facilities closer to the Nambour township.

Early reports on the show events at Nambour are headed “Maroochy Show” - a name that was changed to the Great North Coast Show in 1947 and again changed to the Sunshine Coast Show in 1970, when the trusteeship of the grounds was handed over to the Maroochy Shire Council.

The Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show remains an important three-day event on local calendars. Agricultural shows provide exhibitors with the opportunity to showcase their produce, goods and services and attendees with the opportunity to enjoy local agricultural, community activities, entertainment, exhibits and events. Main ring parades such as cattle judging, equestrian competition and woodchop competitions provide entertainment for all. The animal nursery showcases farm animals for children and highlights the importance of farm life and the farm animals on show.

 Many in the community are involved in local shows as judges, exhibitors and volunteer helpers.  It is their support and dedication and the enthusiastic attendance of the public that ensures the show is still a great success each year.

Learn more about the Coast’s unique history by reading our Backward Glance series. There’s a new story every Wednesday.