Rural show has hovercraft, fly fishing

JUGGLING ACT: Nelson A&P Show secretary Annette Robinson has been flat out organising the annual show.
JUGGLING ACT: Nelson A&P Show secretary Annette Robinson has been flat out organising the annual show.

Variety and value for money is what people can expect at this weekend's Nelson A & P Show, says secretary Annette Robinson.

With the weather forecast to be fine on Saturday and Sunday, she is hoping for up to 15,000 people to turn up to the annual town and country get-together at the Richmond showgrounds.

There will be a bewildering array of events to entertain them, including new ones such a Christmas hall where people can pick up ideas for presents. Children - and those who still pretend to be - will be able to ride a helicopter, a hovercraft, Segways and carts pulled by clydesdales, as well as the usual fairground equipment.

They will also be able to try fly fishing and archery.

The popular animal nursery is in a new location and will have llamas to pat and the bee expo is back. A Mini will be renovated on site and raffled for cancer work.

Among the visitors will be a team from the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild with an interactive bus promoting job opportunities down south.

The music lineup includes the Johnnys, William Fairbairn and a final performance by the Peasants before the group disband.

Mrs Robinson said trade entries were up on last year and she was struggling to fit everyone in.

They ranged from farm machinery to boats, sheds and computers. The food court would be full.

"In the current economy, I think people realise they have got to get out and talk to the public."

With sites costing less than other events, businesses realised it was a good opportunity to make sales, she said. The aim was to offer people as wide a range of things to do as possible for a reasonable cost, which people could reduce by pre-buying tickets.

There would also be the usual traditional attractions such as wood chopping, shearing, dog trials, highland dancing and vintage machinery.

Equestrian would again dominate the animal events, with 1160 entries received which was similar to last year.

Some other categories were a little down on numbers, with cattle entries affected by the requirements to fit them with ear tags under the new Nait scheme.

"We have our regulars coming back but people don't see the same importance of bringing their animals to the show because you have the internet now."

Mrs Robinson said it had been a frantic week for her and her staff and team of volunteers handling last-minute entries and trade inquiries.

While it was the seventh show she had been involved with, it was her first in charge and she had a few "butterflies in my stomach".