While many of the Riverina’s annual shows registered falling numbers this year, Junee bucked the trend.
An estimated 1500 entrants pit the 130th show as the largest in recent history.
“I don’t think I could sum it up better than by saying it was a fabulous day,” said show society president Peter Commens.
“Especially with the drought on, we were getting to think that this year could be smaller, but people really pulled together.
“It really spurs you on to keep going when you see how much the community gets from coming.”
The success in the face of other’s struggles, Mr Commens says, is testament to Junee’s commitment to legacy.
“We’re a family friendly event and we stick to our roots as a country show,” he said.
“The gumboot throwing, the bushman’s relay, the crops pavilion, it’s all very well supported by big crowds.”
Alongside the usual events, this year’s show also featured a range of novelties, including the ‘sandologist’ Steve Machell’s commemorative sculpting, the inaugural Junee Bakery pie-eating contest.
“I think the winning eater got it down in about 38 seconds,” said Mr Commens.
“In 38 seconds, I’m still just picking the thing up and getting ready to size it up.”
Despite the showgirl’s lack of entries – this year it was awarded to Teagan McCormack without contest – the junior divisions saw strong numbers.
But even as the events and presentation reached towards the records, Mr Commens is still concerned for the show’s future.
“It was great that we had about 22 RAS volunteers come down from Sydney to help us out. It was enormously helpful,” he said.
“It’s clear the community wants it, and will support the shows, but if we can’t get the volunteers to make it happen, then this might be the last time it does happen.
“Every town needs a good show, so it’d be an absolute tragedy to lose it.”