Agriculture the big winner

Franchesca, 12, sang and performed on stage for families. 130053 Pictures: ROB CAREW

EVEN in its 143rd year, the Dandenong Show just keeps on keeping on – with a little help from social media seemingly.
Organisers reported crowds were up on Saturday as well as exhibits from all sections – poultry, cattle, art and craft, sheep, showjumping and horse events.
Prior to the weekend, its committee had warned it needed a healthy turnout to stage the show next year especially since it maintained last year’s entry prices.
Organisers had also beefed up their promotions for the show, declaring its first Facebook publicity campaign had “paid off”.
“We’ve just got to work on a way to keep the public coming back.” show president Ricky Ferris said.
Blessed with dry weather and no major incidents on Saturday, the event had a long roll-call of attractions.
There was praise for a thrilling fireworks display provided by City of Greater Dandenong on Saturday night, the novelty of a guess-the-weight of livestock competition, live bands and hair-raising motorbike stunts.
Not to mention cavalcades of hot rods and utes, chainsaw and sheep dog demonstrations as well as dodgem car and Ferris wheel rides.
Show president Ricky Ferris said the show was attracting a more culturally and ethnically diverse crowd.
“We’re trying to showcase the agricultural industry – it’s where their wool, milk, lamb and beef comes from,” he said.
“It’s something they don’t see day-to-day.”
The show is becoming a 20-month organisational exercise shouldered by a core group of 30 volunteers.
Mr Ferris thanked sponsors, show committee members, volunteers, stewards, judges and exhibitors for their contributions.
“No one gets paid… they have full-time jobs and lives to live… their dedication is incredible.”