Highland show shaping up well for big day

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 07:46 10/04/2014

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Organisers of the Mackenzie Highland Show hope to go "the extra mile" this year.

More than 3600 entries have already been received for the show.

Secretary Jodi Payne said numbers were tracking similar to last year.

"The last few years we've got 3800 to 4000 entries, and we expect the same this time around. We've been really busy sorting out everything," Payne said.

The 116th show would feature a celebrity mile race around the showgrounds, as well as the finals for the Aoraki region for the New Zealand Young Farmer competition.

Several members of the New Zealand shearing team would also compete in their final event before they go to Ireland for the Golden Shears, she said.

"We want to go the extra mile for the families who come to the show. In other parts of the country, A&P shows have either declined or stopped entirely, but we're still going strong," she said.

"We have the traditional agricultural and pastoral events, but we also know that any day out with the family can be expensive. We want there to be enough activities so people can stay here until the end of the day and still have not seen everything."

The organising committee, which featured a core group of about 30 members, had been preparing the show for the last eight months.

"Keeping the costs down is a challenge. We're a not-for-profit organisation, but the cost of running something as big as this increases every year."

Up to 100 volunteers would help on the day. "The local schools get into it, it's an important event on the town's calendar," Payne said.

She also promised a vast array of animals on show.

"There will be horses, ponies, sheep, goats, alpacas ... we're lucky that people keep coming back with their animals every year," Payne said.

The Mackenzie Highland Easter Show is held at the Fairlie showgrounds on Easter Monday.

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- The Timaru Herald

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