As usual the cold wind blowing through the river city, brings not only news about the snow fields, but more importantly it reminds us that it is time for the EKKA! We couldn’t wait to see what the boys from the bush dragged into town.
Being an agricultural show animals play a major role, but I bet you didn’t know that on any given day there are 300 dogs to look at, 2 000 chickens, 70 geese, 100 ducks, 80 canaries, 50 pigeons, 1 200 beef cattle, 700 horses, 160 cats, 120 dairy goats, 150 alpacas, 400 dairy cows, 150 Boer goats and 200 fish!
More than twenty horse breeds are on show. Of special interest this year is the Morgan Horse, America’s first national bread, which is loved for its courage and stylish appearance as well as its strength, stamina and intelligence.
This year the kids even get the chance to see where milk really comes from as well as how it is turned into butter and cream. Beef cattle farmers are on hand to provide their expert knowledge on the different cuts, fat layers and what’s involved in raising beef cattle. There are six breeds of cattle on display: Braford, Brahman, Dexter, Limousin, Murray Grey and Charolais.
Have a look at the old-style hand shearing as well as new shearing techniques including electric shears on display. You can even get a lesson on how to pick out different breeds of sheep and to top off your sheep experience there are 400 baby animals in RACQ Animal Nursery and 100 pregnant ewes in the Sunny Queen Little Miracles Newborn Corner.
If you have an interest in the correct preparation of forelocks, manes and tails then head on over to the Animal Arena to watch a pony get primped, plaited and polished to perfection. Don’t forget to wander into the Poultry, Pigeons, Birds and Eggs Pavilion to marvel at the weird and wonderful flock on display.
All these animals produce 20 tonnes of manure which is placed in landfill at Ti Tree BioEnergy, a waste disposal facility which captures environmentally damaging methane and converts it into electricity.
But what is the Ekka without the thrills and spills of the amusement areas? A few new rides made their debut this year like The Mixer which throws riders in all directions. Hollywood Horrors is a maze of rooms that have been themed around popular horror films. A word of advice here is to watch out for the gargoyle in front of the house…..
What really drew us to the show this year was the Ekka Ignite. Be sure to arrive at the ENERGEX Community Arena well before 6pm to secure your seat. As with any true blue Aussie event we start by singing the National Anthem led by the stars of an upcoming QPAC performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The entertainment is kicked off of by show jumping. It is followed by axemen battling it out, displaying their strength and endurance. With period clothes and equipment the knights bring to life the old tradition of jousting.
Next on the program is the battle between traditional horsepower versus V8 ute horsepower. The show comprises of animal and mechanical steeds going through their choreographed paces in unison. Show jumping showcases the skilled side of traditional mounts while the utes wind their way around the arena in a display of V8 grunt.
This is followed by the cowboy mounted shooting where cowboys and –girls show off their riding and shooting skills during high speed races. My absolute favourite of the night program has to be the Toyota V6 Hi-Lux Heroes. The highly skilled stunt driving team is comprised of some of Australia’s leading professional drivers. Their very impressive demonstrations include formation driving, drifting, hand brake turns and reverse flicks, ramp jumps and two wheel driving in a slightly modified V6 powered Hi-Lux.
Don’t think that is the end of all the excitement because next on the agenda is the showdown between a V8 powered race ute against a top line Drift Australia Series Car. Then the biggest truck of them all performs sky wheelies and big jumps, as well as some car crushing.
Show time FMX is another fantastic highlight of the night time entertainment where three top riders perform back flips, forward flips and heaps of high energy, dangerous stunts. Dairy Farmers Fireworks and Laser Show complete the night program. The fireworks are complemented by the illuminating inclusion of a laser show. Howard and Sons put on a spectacular pyro-musical performance to delight young and old. The display features a wide variety of close proximity pyrotechnics and brilliantly bright flames and fireballs that erupt to the beat of music.
Location: RNA Showgrounds 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills Tickets:
- Adult $24
- Child (aged 5-14 years inclusive) $14
- Children 4 years and under are free
- Family A (two adults + two children) $58
- Family B (one adult + one child) $33
- Family Ride Bundle (Family A ticket + 55 strip of carnival coupons) $100.00
- Single Ride Bundle (Adult ticket + 55 strip of carnival coupons) $64.00
Public entry tickets are available for purchase online (www.ekka.com.au), in person at any attended South-East Queensland Rail or City Train station and at any Ekka entry gate.
Gates open to the public at 9.00am
Photos of the 2010 Ekka.