Keep it Rural
For more than 40 years, Freds Pass Rural Show has showcased the beauty and charm of rural life in the Top End with an annual celebration of animals, market produce, horticulture, food and family fun.
By Tierney Seccull
From humble beginnings as a small fete at Howard Springs Primary School back in 1978, it’s grown into the huge weekend-long event it is today.
This year sees a slight change of scenery, the new location on the western side of Freds Pass Reserve offering a green and shady space to relax in by the lake. Freds Pass Rural Show Inc. Chair Shirley Preston says it’s an exciting move.
“The benefit of the new space is that it can be a permanent home for the Show. It’s more compact in its set out, there’s more shade with a natural amphitheatre we can use, and it’s more picturesque with the bushland, the lake and big mahogany trees,” she says.
There’s less walking for everyone because of that compactness – so there’s lots of good things to come out of it.”
A true point of difference for the family-orientated show is the inclusion of the wood chop competition. In fact, it’s so much of a drawcard, expert woodchoppers are flown in especially for the occasion.
“One of the biggest highlights is the wood chop exhibition – we are the only show in the NT that has wood chop. Many people have seen wood chops in southern shows, because it’s always a feature of southern shows, and we have to bring our woodchoppers up here from Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia so the Territory audience can experience it.”
Of course, the usual suspects round out the Show’s offerings, with equestrian events, livestock judging, animal displays, an exhibition hall featuring the community's artistic and creative talents, a side show alley, main stage performances, music talent quests, the NT Young Rural Achiever Awards and a vast array of poultry, horticulture and market garden produce. Yep, it’s a mouthful.
On the topic of full mouths, the highly anticipated 50km Feast gala dinner kicks off the action on the Friday evening, this year featuring the culinary prowess of Paul ‘Yoda’ Iskov. Iskov hails from Fervor, a foodie biz from Western Australia that features a revolving team of qualified chefs that offer unique outdoor dining experiences.
Fervor champions foraged local and native ingredients in their dishes, so prepare your tastebuds for an evening of indulgence, where the stars shine both in the sky and on your dinner plates.
Heads up – the 50km Feast is limited to just 200 guests. Tickets include a four-course dinner, three-hour drinks package and fundraising auction. With a Welcome to Country from Aunty Bilawara Lee, a Smoking Ceremony, and entertainment from Constantina Bush and DJ Charly Templar, these tickets are hot, hot, hot.
For a top Top End weekend, round up the troops and make tracks to Freds Pass Rural Show.
WHEN FRI 26 MAY | 6.30PM
AT FREDS PASS RESERVE
Freds Pass Rural Show
WHEN SAT 27 & SUN 28 MAY
AT FREDS PASS RESERVE
Photos: Paz Tassone