TODAY will test whether the Wodonga Show’s new Rural Lifestyle Fair is the saviour its society has been searching for.
“It’s possibly the future of the show,” show secretary Katrina Gollan said of the fair, which has 14 exhibitors, machinery, water tanks, motorbikes and Wodonga TAFE workshops.
The show society was determined to introduce a new concept in the show’s 66th year in a bid to reverse the dwindling crowd numbers of previous years.
“Shows in general are struggling,” Ms Gollan said.
“The tradition is slowly dying so the society examined where it was going and what we’re doing and realised we needed something different.”
About 100 people had walked through the gate up to lunch time yesterday. Ms Gollan said she was not disappointed with the shaky start.
“Like all new things, it takes time,” she said.
“We didn’t know what we would get. It’s a new thing and it’s during the week.”
The fair’s special guest is ABC’s Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis.
He spent his day yesterday teaching Wodonga Middle Years students about healthy living and planting trees.
The bearded Georgiadis, who refers to himself as “half man, half hedge”, will hold three talks today.
“We’re at a cross-roads with marketing and industry pushing packaged foods but people are starting to see through that,” Mr Georgiadis said. “They want to be healthy and grow healthy foods.
“I’ve been talking to the kids and we were standing under the shade of a tree planted by someone they didn’t know 20 years ago.
“It shows them why it’s important to plant trees.
“It’s about doing something for someone else.”
Wodonga Middle Years student Justin Skinner, 13, was joined by 12 other science students and teacher John Furst, planting trees, with Costa’s guidance, to form as a barrier between the showgrounds and homes.
“It’s pretty special planting trees, because we’re helping everyone out,” he said.
“I think for every tree you chop down you should grow a new one.”
The show will run today from 9am to 4pm.