Our weekly opinion pieces are written by North Queensland Register journalists. The thoughts expressed are their own.
Last weekend I headed back out to Hughenden to attend the local show.
It's almost 400km to drive out there so I reflected on my time spent at agricultural shows.
Turns out, I've had a soft spot for them since the 90s.
It was only last year, during a visit to see my folks in Emerald, that I dug up an old place card from our local show in Zimbabwe. The highly commended certificate was for flower arranging, more than 20 years ago.
While there are plenty of differences between Australian and Zimbabwean shows; there are plenty of similarities too.
Over there, the show weekend is an opportunity for the community to come together and spend time celebrating agriculture and what you do for a living.
I'm sure the Reggie readership can relate.
It is no secret that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer shortages and until recently, mandatory vaccination requirements, sadly continue to plague country shows across the state.
The Hughenden Show, however, proved quality over quantity mattered most last weekend.
The committee and volunteers worked extremely hard to put together a show for the whole community to enjoy.
I spent some time at the cattle judging section with steward Kylie Stewart-Moore who took me under her wing for the day and explained the competition.
It was so clear to see the passion that these producers have for their cattle, and although numbers were down on previous years, the exhibitors who were in attendance proudly presented their animals.
I also had a natter with the lovely Hughenden QCWA ladies; oh, the stories they must have! A brief conversation is never enough time to delve into a rich local history, but I'm up for a cuppa on my next trip.
The evening ended with a horse versus motorbike barrel racing event where one unlucky motorbike rider stalled on the second barrel. The laughter was infectious and it really bought everyone together to enjoy the night.
To the Hughenden Show organisers and the local community, thank you for inviting me out. It was a fantastic event and you all did a stellar job.
If my future plans work out, you may have one more willing volunteer and supporter to add to your team for next year's show.
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