A tribute to commemorate the centenary of World War 1 opens the established Helensville A&P Show.
The February 22 event features the RNZAF Base Auckland Band along with returned service personnel, New Zealand Defence Force representatives and community groups.
The show continued throughout the war years even with the loss of Helensville soldiers.
The cenotaph database lists 186 men from the area who served in the armed forces during World War I - although this is just scratching the surface of the true losses.
Many animals, including 18,000 horses, left New Zealand pastures never to return.
The 112th show, run by the Helensville A&P Association, aptly links people and animals with the tradition of celebrating a rural heritage.
Animals, horticultural and indoor competitions continue to be the backbone attractions.
Carnival rides, entertainment, home-made baking and family activities are also regular favourites.
But not everything will be a rural ritual. For the first time ever, the show will be run as a zero waste event.
Show participants and visitors will be learning or improving on a new mindset of diverting waste from landfill.
The introductory initiative comes through the support Auckland Council through a waste minimisation grant, with the Rodney Local Board, the Lion Foundation and the support of sponsors helping with other show costs.
The practical work will be co-ordinated by the Auckland Community Zero Waste Alliance and Rubbish Direct with people directed to brightly coloured bins for their litter.
Other new twists include this year's woodchopping action which will be run by the North Harbour Axemen.
There will also be plenty to bring cheers at the Junior Farming Competition and Northern District Region Young Farmer's Competition.
Cooking demonstrations in the Relish the Taste tent feature Helensville chef Pete Brennan and food writer Annabel White. The River Valley Amateur Wine and Brewer's Guild also toasts its 30th anniversary.
New show manager Caroline Anderson says she is nervous and excited, and hoping for good weather.
"It's a big learning curve. This is a really strong community and everyone pulls together - it comes into place because of their support."
"They're lovely, supportive, kind and caring people. They're keen to engage more with the community and ensure the continued currency of the show."
Caroline says the WWI tribute could have a number of aspects to it including a memorabilia tent.
"There are a lot of untold stories . . . "
She also hopes to have a children's trail with passports for youngsters to get involved in activities and events. More than 150 trade and market stalls are expected with the usual attractions for all ages ranging from the Sheep 'n' Show, Marionette circus and Carmel the face painter to highland dancing, Brightside Spinners and the Old McDonald's Travelling Farmyard.
Rural Women NZ will celebrate the UN International Year of Family Farming 2014 with a series of road shows. One of the events will be at Helensville on April 5 featuring its own local flavour including seminars ranging from succession planning and safety on the farm to investing in your farming future and sustainability. There will also be market stalls, crafts and displays by businesses.
GIVEAWAY Win a family pass and membership to the Helensville A&P Association. Email your name, address and contact details by February 13 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Helensville A&P Show tickets in the message bar.
- Norwest News
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