photo New Zealand Agricultural Show

Fresh name, fantastic show

by Andy Bryenton

Shakespeare famously wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. If he was alive today the Bard of Avon would have to concede that the New Zealand Agricultural Show, previously the Canterbury A&P Show, has only grown better with a change of name.

Organisers have kept the very best from more than one and a half centuries of tradition, bringing things up to date with new events, new attractions and a new logo to keep up with modern times. When the change was announced two years ago, even the most traditionalist of patrons discovered that there was nothing lost in the transition, and perhaps, a whole lot gained. Look at this year’s menu of attractions, and you’ll find all the classics, which have come to define the ‘great Kiwi town and country show’. You’ll also see some brand new ones which reflect our changing times and the tastes of the public. There’s a baking masterclass, echoing our televisual love affair with culinary competition and barbecue cook-off that brings the flavours of New Orleans and Texas to Canterbury. Zirka Circus is on-site with an artistic, acrobatic and gravity-defying new show. The live music on offer spans everything from the ceremony and heritage of the NZ Army Band through to the R and B and Soul influences of Brotherhood Musiq and the modern hip-hop of Kings.

There will be serious discussions on big issues, such as seminars on urban/rural relations and climate-smart food production, alongside spectacles such as the Canterbury’s strongest man and woman event, where competitors display superhuman levels of power and stamina. That’s not forgetting all the traditional fun of the show; shearing, dog trials, gumboot throwing, wood chopping, equestrian and much more. There’s too much to pack into one day, which is why this huge event will take place across Wednesday, November 13, Thursday 14 and Friday 15, from 8.30am each morning. Tickets are on sale now for a festival of family fun as the country comes to town!