Record turnout made this year’s South Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral show in Waimate the biggest one so far.
Southern Canterbury A&P Association manager Reto Oswald said between 2500-3000 people turned up to the show over the weekend, about double last year’s A&P Show turnout.
“It was a good turnout for the community… it was a great success,” Mr Oswald said.
“We had a good day and that’s what it’s about.”
This year’s emphasis on entertainment and the weekend’s beautiful weather were responsible for the turnout, and for drawing in people from Oamaru and Timaru, Mr Oswald said.
There were about 80 stalls at the show, selling food, clothing, farming equipment and more.
The New Zealand Air Force had helicopters on display, which crowds were drawn to “like a UFO had just landed”, Mr Oswald said.
A dog show, featuring about 430 dogs, also drew in about 500 people over the weekend, he said.
Freestyle Motocross drew a crowd as well.
This year was the inaugural year for the show’s “best A&P band in the world”.
The competition saw six bands compete for a $2500 prize.
The bands had to be school age and had to play a 35-minute set, Mr Oswald said.
The band Bittrclass, comprising pupils from five schools in Timaru, came out on top on the day.
Mr Oswald said no bands from Oamaru schools took part in the competition, and he hoped some would get involved in next year’s A&P show band competition.
This was the third annual South Canterbury A&P show.
Next year’s show was already in the works, with a stunt show in the pipeline, Mr Oswald said.
“We’re definitely gonna make it bigger and better,” Mr Oswald said.
By DAVID DE LOREAN