As Canterbury gears up for another year of the Agricultural & Pastoral (A&P) Show, there's no better time to delve into the fascinating world of this iconic event as it celebrates its 160th year.
Held annually in Christchurch, the show is a vital part of Canterbury's Cup and Show Week, attracting over 100,000 visitors each year. Running from November 15 - 17 this year first-release tickets are available now at theshow.co.nz with an adult ticket setting you back just $30 while all kids under 16 are free.
Anne Rogers has been part of the Canterbury A&P and its annual show for over 20 years, and has gone from managing the 'charming Alpaca section' to her current position as the Canterbury A&P Association President leadership role.
Rogers told REX host Dominic George that there is an immense amount of work behind the scenes that goes into making the show happen every year, something she is extremely proud of.
"I'm really humbled and amazed at the amount of work that members commit through the year, and you can see that coming out in the show," she said.
This year's event promises an array of attractions, including the Wool Zone, Royal Events in the beef and dairy section, Super Entry in the cattle section, Marino Hoggart competitions, Christmas cake competition, Terrier competition and the exciting addition of sheep milking.
"We've got lots of new events this year, some very interesting things coming up, particularly Wool Zone."
In an industry where sustainability is increasingly important, Rogers shared the introduction of the Wool Zone, a new section focusing on the versatility and sustainability of wool. This collaborative effort brings together entities from the wool and fibre section, the sheep section, the trade, and the home industry section.
"It's wool's time to shine. We wanted our visitors engaging and experiencing wool and all its commercial and retail applications."
Delving into the rich history of the Canterbury A&P, Rogers recounts how the show has strengthened the bond with the local business community and remains a significant event in Canterbury's Cup and Show Week.
"We've got families where they go back five to six generations as presidents of the association."
The Canterbury A&P Show has weathered many storms throughout its 160-year history, enduring wars, depression, and more recently, COVID. Yet, it remains a beacon of resilience, a celebration of rural life, and a testament to the enduring appeal of country meets town events.
So, whether you're a die-hard rural enthusiast or a city-dweller looking for a unique day out, mark your calendars for the Canterbury A&P Show happening from the 15th to the 17th of November.
"It's the ultimate end-of-the-year activity for us, something we've worked hard all year to ensure that we put on a great show."
From the alluring Alpacas to the dynamic Wool Zone, the Canterbury A&P Show promises an unforgettable experience, one that is deeply woven into the fabric of New Zealand's rural heritage.
Listen to the full chat between Anne Rogers and Dominic George above.