Record-breaking crowd attends 80th Wanaka A&P show

More than 45,000 turned out for the 80th Wanaka A&P show.
MARJORIE COOK

More than 45,000 turned out for the 80th Wanaka A&P show.

Good entertainment and marketing are some of the reasons record numbers of people have turned out for the Wanaka show, organisers say.

More than 45,000 people turned out for the 80th Wanaka A&P Show, exceeding last year's crowd by at least 5000.

Wanaka show co-ordinator Jane Stalker said the show grows in number every year but the 12.5 per cent increase in attendants over the two-day event has exceeded expectations.

Stalker attributed the good turnout to a combination of the 80th celebrations, a good entertainment bill and good marketing.

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Thousands beat path to Wanaka Show

Included in the entertainment lineup were the Topp Twins and Wanaka-based celebrity cook Annabel Langbein.

Held at the Wanaka Showgrounds over two days, it is one of New Zealand's largest annual agricultural and pastoral events

More than $10.9 million is injected into the local community each year from the show.

Trade exhibitor numbers were up this year, with 492 stalls compared to 472 last year. There were twice the normal number of cattle entries this year, with 117 entered. Horse and sheep entries were strong, at 1965 and 194 respectively. 

Sixty jack russells also participated in the famous jack russell race on Saturday.

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Given the big celebrations for the 80th show, the question for the committee was what to do next, Stalker said.

"We didn't intend to get this big, it just happened."

The biggest pressure from the event was, and still is, the parking but the park and ride system used this year was very successful, she said.

Next year they would look for more parking space and continue the park and ride system she said.

There were no plans at this stage to dial back the show or to greatly expand it, Stalker said.

"We're not going to do any less."

Upper Clutha A&P Society committee president Doug Stalker said he was "dead chuffed" with how the show went.

The committee had been proactive early, which was why there were so many more entries in the show this year, Stalker said.

"There's are real positive, healthy attitude around the show."

Excellent weather conditions probably contributed to the number of show-goers as well, he said.

 - Stuff

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