TWO fine, warm days have given Berry Show its highest attendance ever.
More than 10,000 people visited Berry Showground on Friday and Saturday breaking the record last set in 2007.
Although final figures are yet to be released, both show secretary Jim Bieler and show president Peter Hands have declared the previous attendance record of 10,300 well and truly broken.
“We’re calling the new president Mr Sunshine,” said a thrilled Mr Bieler.
Organisers had been plagued by wet weather for the past three years. Last year’s show had almost half the attendance of this year’s.
It wasn’t only the attendance figures that increased this year, entries were up to with more competitors in the Pavilion categories, nearly twice as many chooks and double the number of beef cattle.
Earlier judging meant the Pavilion could open earlier and flower entries doubled while vegetable entries increased by a third.
“We tried something new and moved the high school students out of the junior sections and put them into the open sections,” said Mr Bieler.
“We’re trying to encourage the younger ones to participate as they are the future of the show.”
Previously high school students had been unwilling to compete with younger students, but the change had the desired effect of attracting more entries.
Online entering increased the numbers competing in show jumping from 600 to 1000, while moving beef cattle judging to Saturday doubled the number of entries.
Mr Hands said the show’s highlight for him was the Grand Parade.
“We haven’t had one like this for 30 to 40 years and it was magnificent,” he said.
Held on Saturday the parade was led by Rod McKinnon and his bullock team. Berry community groups joined it as did fire trucks and 30 to 40 vintage tractors.
A crowd six to eight deep watched the parade which stretched for more than 600 metres, said Mr Hands.
“I was talking to some people from Sydney who go to the Royal [Easter Show] and they said the parade was spectacular. It makes you proud.”
• See pages 2 and 3 for more Berry Show stories. Results begin at page 10.