The first time I went to a Show was back in Shepparton, aged 5. I went on a Thursday afternoon with dad, as they were setting up for the larger Friday crowd. Thursday offered a cheaper entry. Come to think of it, I don't think dad paid. I remember we entered via a side entrance, granted access with a "G'day Bruce.... thanks mate" spoken by dad, and possibly a secret handshake that silently said 'we will only be here 5 mins, and he's 5 years old.. i'm not paying'.
I remember the carnival feel vividly. The bright lights, loud techno music, the subtle smells of stale cooking oil with animal poo and straw undertones. The excitement of all the rides, yet I was too shit scared to go on any at 5 years old. My first experience of a Dagwood Dog, and the limited options of getting the Lions Club or Fire Brigade showbags... The parental myth was that these $5 showbags contained more anyway....
Well now that my own boy was 5 years old, I though we should venture out and let him experience some of the excitement I once had. We went to the Geelong Show on Saturday.
I have to give a call out to the random lady that approached me at the entry gate. "Are you's going to the show?" she said while walking in my direction. I was thinking up an excuse not to buy her used ticket, but the kind lady actually gave me a free pass that she had won. Who-ever you are, thank you.
We entered the gates just after lunch, my little boy's eyes instantly panned the grounds taking in all the excitement. We decided to walk around and pick out some games and rides, then come back to give them a go. I have to say the Show has definitely been a victim of inflation. Some of the prices were pushing $15 per ride, and the side-show games averaged around $6 per 1 go.
The Big-Wheel was a safe choice at $16 for the both of us. My son was very impressed and also a little nervous. His first ride had been accomplished. Note: the video below is NOT the big-wheel.
Most of the rides, such as the video above were for larger kids which was a bit disappointing. The dogem cars had a large line as they were one of the only attractions for the juniors, so we didn't bother lining up.
As we walked around, I could see he enjoyed just watching the rides. We played a couple of side-show games and I must admit he has a keen aim with the shooting game.
After walking around the grounds multiple times, picking up a couple of showbags for himself and his sister.... $70..... we settled in to have a snack and await the fireworks show, and yep we had a Dagwood each and some chips... $26.....
We waiting at the back of the oval for the fireworks show, but they really stretched out the wait. Finally at approx 9pm they reminded us for the 17th time that they were going to set off "$50 thouuuuusaaaaannnnndddddd dollars of fireworks".
We were about 30metres from the launchpad, so our view was uninterrupted. They were quite impressive with a good 20min show.
Overall, a very expensive day and different from how I remember. My boy had a wonderful time over the 6 hours, but the atmosphere was quite unique and everything was very overpriced. A breakdown of a day at the Show for 1 Adult + 1 Child:
Parking: $10 , Entry: Free , Side-shows: $28 (5 various games) , Showbags: $30 Trolls, $30 Ninja Turtle, $10 Lolly Bag , Food: $26 (2 x Dagwoods, 2 x Chips) Ride: $16 (1 big-wheel ride)
Total of $150 for the day, and we didn't really do much at the event.
★★ - A good experience for the kids as a once-off. Don't think I'll go again next year.