Monday, March 23, 2009


Who buys this stuff?

Despite living in the 'burbs' of Sydney, one of the sweetest traditions to survive is the existence of a "Showground" home to the annual agricultural show. These are held all over the state, indeed, all over the country and culminate in the show to end all shows, in Sydney at least - The Royal Easter Show.

Castle Hill Show is the last of these events prior to the Royal and winners selected here will have the opportunity to show off, bake, create, paint, ride and parade their arts and crafts, produce, pets and ponies at the big event.

Our little event however, is slowly getting tackier and tackier. It's a carnival of carnies, a plethora of ponies, a sideshow of silliness. Even the candy floss is packed in plastic bags instead of made in one of those big spinning tubs and wound onto a stick, all warm and tacky.

Still, with the sun shining and time on a Sunday afternoon, I paid my dues, put up with the stench of camels and pony poo and frying onions and sweet liquorice and took a few snaps of the event for posterity . . . .

This year there was a propensity for hanging prizes upside down!

Not a show without a Kewpie doll!

Sideshow Alley

Haute Cuisine

Rides for the kiddies

Jumping Castles with a Difference!


Kid wears an Olive Python for a hat!



Australian Stock Horse


The stinkmasters


Brian Miller said...

Looks like fun! Hear you on the junk they hawk at the carny! THe jump houses look pretty cool!

hokgardner said...

I lurves the Cowboy Kewpie doll!

Susan said...

Whoa, what memories this brings back!

My town had a great carnival, and we'd always go for the laugh. I don't know if it was *our* getting older or the carnival's, but eventually we went for the laugh--and it wasn't in a good way.

Still, sometimes it's nice to take a cornbally sort of break from reality. I loved your photos!

jay said...

Ha! 'Haute cuisine' including kebabbed Kewpie dolls! LOL!

Love the picture of the stock horse!

tut-tut said...

Lord! I remember going to those many years ago; the midway is always the same, isn't it?

Megan said...

I have a soft spot for Carnies...

Looks like quite the colorful day. Did you go on any rides?

Melanie said...

"back in my day" if I won one of those tacky prizes you could be assured I would still have it now but the world has brought our kids up with everything being so disposable and so 5 minutes ago as soon as you get it. So now all I see is tacky landfill. Oh how dreary I am arnt I? I must admit I am a sucker for showbags though. Am I redeemed now?

ian said...

No-one selling pics allegedly of a politician?

nick said...

I love the stock horse - it looks so graceful.

BTW, I see motorcycle gangs were laying into each other at the airport. Must have been pretty frightening....

Grannymar said...

At least you have nice horses to look at.

Great pics!

Anonymous said...

So much like the ones we have! Love the python necklace! And the food! And the rides! Will have to get to a couple this year! :D

kj said...

how many carnivals and fairs have i been to in my life: 200? and i still like them, even the tacky food. you took some fine shots here, baino--took me on a walk down carnival lane. but what's with hanging the stuffed animals upside down? little kids unite.

Ronda Laveen said...

Looks like it was a beautiful day to be outside and having fun. The pictures were wonderful. I especially liked the flyball and the alpacas. I think I like going to the carny better this way. No Stinkmasters.

Baino said...

Brian my 24 year old wants a Jumping Castle shaped like a Sabre Toothed tiger for her birthday in December!

Hokgardner, I never really understood the reason for Kewpie dolls then . .some of the stuff they sell . . .

The smells brought a few memories back for sure Suze! Pongfest it was!

Pretty pony isn't he? I haven't seen that class before it was more of a working horse class than the usual poncy pony club stuff.

I hope when you say 'carnies' you mean Carnivals . .not the people who run them? (count the fingers and check the teeth)

Mel I dodged the showbag hall at the Royal for YEARS. It was only when the kids were old enough to go alone that they realised what they'd been missing!

Haha . . nope Rev, not a naked Ms Hanson to be seen! All good clean fun . .and there's no way those photos are her ..really! I think SHE engineered it, best bit of publicity she could get a week before the election!

Yep. . .there's been a bikie war on here for a coupleof months now Nick but fighting at the airport is just beyond the pale.

We're a very horsey neighbourhood Grannymar!

Subby that kid was hilarious. It was a very hot day and the snake was VERY active but little Todd didn't flinch!

Yeh, they're a reminder of days gone I think kj don't you? There's still something about the animal side and a 'battered' sav and fairy floss although I've never been a fan of sideshows.

Rhonda it was gorgeous but the flyball is so funny. My own dog is a crazy retriever and I wish I'd trained her up for flyball, she'd love it. The dogs go ballistic!
Hmm, the camels were very smelly and believe me, I don't mind a 'rural' smell but these guys were over the top!

River said...

TKewpie dolls were always my favourite stall. I'd look at them for hours deciding which one I'd buy. I was always happy with my final choice, declaring I would love her forever, until I'd see another little girl with a bigger, more glittery doll than mine. Children can be so fickle, don't you agree?

Grow Up said...

Like a good ag show. Could do without the tacky bits there though. I guess for the same reason I prefer a race meet down the country, where a good chunk of the populace is wearing wellies rather than poncy hats (not in like, direct substitution, just, well, you know what I mean!)

Baino said...

River these shows are a long way from the old Young Farmer's shows of my English youth, animals, rides, stalls . . .shitty food . . .sign of the times when there's a Vietnamese Food stall and Gourmet Coffee, even one selling Peruvian handcrafts! The most we ever got as kids was a free sample bag and a fairy floss on a stick! Actually, the Royal Easter Show is well worth a look but the last couple of years it's been so crowded that we've shied away.

GrowUP I know exactly what you mean. We avoid the sideshows like the plague but the animalia is lubly and I don't mind wading through poo to get there! I think I'm a boghopper at heart!

Mrsupole said...

I love the pictures and we have our county fairs here. But I had been to so many over the years that I cannot bring myself to go to one. Plus I have worked at them on top of that. It was fun to go to one with the pictures though. And I agree that there was no smelly animals to put up with.

Glad you had fun. Maybe if I could go to a smaller one it would be easier. LA County Fair here in Southern California is just so crowded. Too many people live here.

God bless.

Baino said...

Mrsuple, our city fairs are like that. Huge . .very good and definitely the country coming to the city but too many people and held on Easter Weekend, it's often very hot or very wet . ..nice if you're with a bloke but not if you're cramming with crowds!

Candie Bracci said...

"who buys this stuff?" lol,I would buy the little dolls..yeah I would.
That seems fun and brings memories too,it's a long time I haven't been to one of these.

i beati said...

reminds me of my big eyes as a kid when i thought that junk was a prize give me the dogs horses, alpacas, camels and the colorful scenery

TCL said...

Well Los Angeles metro area with over 16 million people still has the biggest county fair in all of California.

But how can you beat guns galore. It's right up there when I stop a car full of my European friends to fetch beer at Beer Guns and Ammo.