The 100th Annual Rydal Show was held on Saturday 4th February and was a huge success.
We had a massive crowd through the gate (a record) with the line of traffic reaching back into the main street and not a parking spot to be had for miles around.
Thursday night and Friday morning saw large queue of people waiting to enter exhibits. Entries were up in all sections with the best of the district on display. The pavilions were packed with flowers, fruit and vegetables, wool, cooking, needlework, art and crafts and photography along with a large display of schoolwork.
The scone section was hotly contested, especially the special politician’s class which saw Councillor Cassandra Coleman take out 1st place followed by Federal member Andrew Gee in 2nd and Councillor Stewart McGee coming in 3rd.
All our animal exhibits including the ring were very popular with horse numbers up which was great to see. The Topsy Turvy ring for our youngest riders had a large number of entries with lots of ribbons awarded and a bag of lollies to top off their show day.
Andrew from Live Reptile Displays was very popular with his snakes, lizards, and a crocodile. It was standing room only around the pit during his shows. There was a large variety of stalls which seemed to all be doing a roaring trade as did George with his amusement rides and the animal nursery was a must see for kids and parents alike. Lithgow City Band entertained the crowd and Lithgow Living History roamed around all day in their fabulous costumes with the ladies dressed in 1920s style, in keeping with what would have been worn at our first show.
A large number of ex-military vehicles came along for a display, including a DUWK ( amphibious truck) , Machine Gun Carrier and a jeep which served in WW11 , was used in Maralinga and was the first car driven on Lake Eyre in 1954.
The Dining room, back to the usual sit-down format after covid restrictions last year, was packed to capacity all day with show goers enjoying beautiful morning and afternoon teas and delicious home-made lunches. The kiosk did a roaring trade and the coffee machines never stopped.
The bar was busy all day and was a popular spot to stop off before moving on to watch the ever-popular woodchop and yard dog trials. Also drawing a large crowd was the Dog High jump, which in its first year at Rydal had a large number of entries and by all accounts was very good to watch.
Mr Ian Litchfield OAM, our oldest member opened the show and spoke a little about the history of the Rydal show, its links to the RAS and how this show is one of the few that has stayed true to its agricultural roots.
Life membership was awarded to Liz and Ross Fragar, Charles Applin, Rachael and Mark Young and our President Brett Radburn for their many years of volunteer work with the show society. Andrew Martin was awarded the RAS medal for his long-term support and work with the show society and Kirilee Scott was awarded the Nex Gen Ribbon, which is given to a young person for their efforts in helping put on the show.
We had four lovely ladies enter our Rydal Show Young Woman Ambassador competition with Grace Hadley from Rydal being sashed as our 2023 winner. Thanks also go to Hayley Bennett, Kate Mannell and Jaime Balzke for taking part in our Rydal Show Young Woman Ambassador competition.
Our junior Ambassador was Dylan Grant who works tirelessly each year to make the show a success.
As part of our 100th show celebrations we invited all our previous showgirls back to the show and we were delighted to welcome 22 lovely ladies back, including our first show girl from 1965.
The Rydal Show Society would like to thank all our sponsors who have supported us for many years, including this year. Without their generosity we could not put on such a wonderful event.
We cannot thank enough our awesome volunteers. They are the backbone of our show society and without them we could not have achieved this wonderful milestone of 100 shows. Rydal is only a small community, but its members come out each year and work tirelessly to put on an event to be proud of and we look forward to continuing for another 100 years.
Thank you to the members of the public who come through the gate, you too have played your part in making Rydal show the” Biggest Little Show in the West” and helping us reach our 100th show.
See you all next year for show 101.
Rydal A, H & P Society.