Tracey Ahern, the General Manager of the Canterbury A&P Association, offers a vibrant celebration of agriculture in the form of the annual New Zealand Agricultural Show. As this year's event marks its 160th anniversary, Ahern gives us a peek behind the scenes, showcasing the diligent preparations that ensure the event remains fresh and exciting each year. The New Zealand Agricultural Show is a testament to resilience, having braved the stormy winds of COVID-19 and economic recession.
One of the oldest agricultural shows in the country, the event beautifully blends the bustling energy of the city with the rustic charm of the countryside. This year, the show promises to captivate visitors with thrilling new features. The park will be scattered with artisanal 'farm to plate' offerings, and attendees can look forward to a foot-tapping barn dance and an axe throwing competition.
"Absolutely yes, it's our 160th anniversary that we're celebrating and, given that we've survived COVID and now a bit of a recession, we are propelling forward and looking forward to another 160 years," says Ahun.
Children are not left out as the event is enhancing its charm for the little ones with an interactive farmyard experience and an adventure-filled trail.
For Ahern, the New Zealand Agricultural Show is not just an event; it's a vibrant celebration that showcases the rich agricultural heritage of the country. The show is a special occasion that brings the countryside to the city, a time when farmers collaborate and demonstrate to the rest of New Zealand what the country has to offer.
This year, the organizers have made significant changes to improve the visitors' experience and make the venue more accessible. For the first time, the show will offer a VIP marquee and an axe-throwing competition.
One of the highlights of the show is its 'farm to plate' offerings. These are scattered around the park, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to explore artisanal food items they can't find in stores. It's part of the event's broader plan to educate the public about agriculture and food production.
Adding to the excitement, the event will also host a barn dance on Thursday night, an initiative aimed at attracting people after work to come down, enjoy a beer, and have a bit of a dance.
As for the younger attendees, the event is introducing a new farmyard experience. Kids will get the opportunity to learn about sheep milking and farming in general, making the event a truly educational experience for all.
The New Zealand Agricultural Show is a beacon of resilience and celebration, one that continues to flourish even in the face of adversity. As it marks its 160th anniversary, it promises to deliver an event that is not only enjoyable but also enlightening, showing us the importance and beauty of agriculture in our daily lives.
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