It was a frosty start for the Show Day public holiday, but the sun rose on beautiful spring day and that proved the perfect recipe for an agricultural show.
Royal Launceston Show Society took a gamble by reducing its three-day event to one that ran for 12 hours on Thursday, but it was a chance that paid off.
Organisers were thrilled with the crowds that streamed steadily through the Launceston Showground gates from when they opened at 9am until after the fireworks at 9pm.
Society president Jock Gibson said the “the response across the board has been positive”.
“The crowds so far have been fantastic. We had lots at lunch time; it’s been great,” Mr Gibson said late on Thursday afternoon.
“We hope to get another surge for the evening session,” he said.
And although final numbers would not be known until next week, Mr Gibson said he thought figures were higher than those in 2017.
“I expect the numbers to be up on last year from just looking at the crowd,” he said.
From the crowds and competitors, to the ride, side show and food vendors, there was a positive feeling at the Launceston Show on Thursday.
“We’ve had positive comments from all organisations, Everyone has been very happy,” Mr Gibson said.
Ben Midson, of Newnham, has been attending Royal Launceston Show “on and off for about 30 years” and gave the new one-day event his tick of approval.
Mr Midson used to attend Launceston Show with his father, and now brings his own children to experience the event.
“I used to always remember going there and watching the Commodores go round the track with my dad. My dad passed away about five or six years ago,” he said.
“I used to go there with him and get a sausage and then we’d go and stand by the track. I’ll always remember it; it was fabulous.”
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When the show was relocated to Inveresk Mr Midson kept coming, and prefers the format as it was on Thursday.
“They’ve got it all in a more confined area. It’s not as spread out, so it seems like there is a lot more happening,” he said.
“Every time we’ve come to shows before we’ve been walking and walking and there were big stages where there was just nothing.
“We’ve been to Adelaide Show, Melbourne Show and this feels like a show again. Even the animal exhibits – walking through and being able to interact with them was great.”
Mr Midson and his family enjoyed their day at Launceston Show and support it continuing.
“I reckon they should try to save it. It’s more compact and cheaper to get in,” he said.
There is potential to build on the show’s infrastructure and expand it in the future, Mr Midson believes.
“Maybe you could do a two-day event, but test the waters for a year or two and see what transpires.”