Agricultural shows are supposed to be the highlight of the community calendar, but the cancellation of the Devonport Show and the lukewarm response to Launceston’s event have prompted questions about what makes a show popular.
A week after the Launceston Show Society admitted they would have liked to have seen more people through the gates, their Longford counterparts reported strong numbers for this year’s event.
Longford Show Society secretary Kristy Springer said she remained confident they would continue drawing big crowds to the annual event.
“The Longford Show has always had a really good family feel to it,” she said.
“As soon as you go through the gates, there is so much free entertainment available.
“It’s also a good opportunity for people in the area to catch up with one another.”
One of the causes of Launceston Show’s dwindling numbers was that it did not feature enough of an agricultural focus, according to patrons.
Mrs Springer said the agricultural aspect of the Longford Show had built up a strong reputation in the time it had been running.
“It’s something that has been there from the start, so we usually like to keep it the way it is from year to year,” she said.
“One of the ways in which we keep the event fresh after 161 years is through bringing in different types of entertainment.
“There are some mainstream normal options mixed in with new ones, which are used to shake things up a bit.”
After this weekend, the show circuit will head to Westbury for what will be the 154th agricultural show in the town.
While Westbury Show Society president Kevin Lattin expected a strong turnout this year, he admitted it has not always been smooth sailing for the event.
“It was only about six or seven years ago that the show was struggling and the future did not look good,” he said.
“A new president came in and sorted a few things out, and local services groups, such as Rotary, remained very supportive.
“It was built back up into more of a family friendly event, and we’ve really concentrated on what is now called Kid’s Corner.”
Mr Plattin said the Westbury Show prided itself on being a “cost-efficient agricultural event”.
“We have a lot of activities that are free of charge,” he said.
“You’re not walking around with your hand in your pocket all day.
“When I was treasurer of the show society, I’d see that we would always come out in front, which meant we were able to do extensions on the showgrounds and improve the experience.”