There is just something about the Ekka.
Thinking about it, I don’t think that there has been a single year where we haven’t gone. I have been with family, friends, school and even with an organisation who take sick children from the Children’s hospital and their families around for the morning. I have performed, eaten many Strawberry Sundaes (a highlight every year to raise funds for the Prince Charles hospital), been on many a sugar high from the unbelievable amount of lollies my sister and I would pool from our show bags (that we would budget for and pre-choose together from the Ekka booklet in the newspaper the week before), watched many fashion shows and motor cross stunts and made a lot of incredible memories. Good and bad. At this point, it feels as though we have done it all. My sister even ended up in hospital after going into shock not long after we arrived one year.
Yet, despite the fact that apart from the layout, the essence of Ekka has pretty much stayed the same every single year, each time I go I am too warmed by the familiarity to let the repetitiveness bother me. Not-so-subtly checking out the hot, shirtless fireman selling calendars. Check. Queensland Rail Pavilion. Check. Honey tasting. Check. Getting amazed by the cake decorating. Check. Eating all the free samples in the Woolworths Pavilion and getting completely overwhelmed by what to actually buy for lunch. Check and check.
Ok, yes, it may get a bad wrap for being an expensive, germ-ridden bogan-fest (not my words). But set all those things aside, and you are left with a genuinely happy, uniting display of talent, animals, food and of course, fireworks. Farmers showcase their passion for the country, fresh, wholesome produce and foods are showcased and people with an insane love for their pets can find a safe space where they can literally talk and cuddle their animals all day and nobody cares. In fact, they are encouraged.
Our pantry is now full of weird samples from our Good Taste show bags, we have Bertie Beetles hidden all through the house, and a whole bunch of enviro-bags advertising government sectors and agricultural businesses. I have reached my limit of monster trucks and motor-cross for the year and probably won’t be in such close proximity to so many people without teeth for a while.
But as Ekka comes to close once again, the little girl in me starts my yearly countdown for August next year where I get to do it all again.