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A Rural Sparkling Sapphire

SINCE 1978, STARTING humbly as a small fête at Howard Springs Primary School, Freds Pass Rural Show has annually showcased the beauty and bounty of rural life. This month, it’s back for a 45th year to celebrate its sapphire anniversary.

By Tierney Seccull

“It’s a big achievement! And because sapphire is the stone of a 45th wedding anniversary we’re using that as our theme colour, with a lot of extra competitions themed around having the exhibit or craft based on the colour blue,” says Freds Pass Rural Show Inc. Chair Shirley Preston.

Giving everyone the chance to soak up the charm of our rural Top End community, this annual celebration of animals, market produce, horticulture, and family fun rolls out over the penultimate weekend in May.

There’s a car show, animal nursery, the much-loved Paddock to Plate event, the Outback Track scavenger hunt for young ones, wood-chopping, a tonne of kids’ fun, and music and performances on the main stage.

New this year – and exciting news – is the sideshow alley with rides, games and food trucks. Plus, pony rides have also been introduced. Yay, ponies!

The relocation to the western side of Freds Pass Reserve last year provided punters a greener and shadier space to relax by the lake.

“We’ll be back there again this year, and it was great! We particularly got a lot of good feedback that there was more shade in that area, so that’s our permanent location now,” Preston says.

Country living can be competitive, so there’s a swag of competitions on offer. The Strut Out in Blue Fashion Competition invites participants to don their best blue threads for a chance to walk the catwalk and win some cash, and the Amateur Music Talent Quest gives budding superstars the chance to share their talents on stage with a friendly and supportive crowd. And yep, there’s cash up for grabs there, too.

You can, of course, expect to see the usual suspects in other competitions including equestrian, art, cookery, cattle, poultry and market garden categories – there’s even a tart and tartlet comp for the best sweet treats.

Preston and the committee invite you to embrace the blues and soak up the charm of rural living with them at this special milestone event.

“It’s a relaxing day with lots of free activities to do, particularly for families. If there’s a need to cuddle animals, come along … That slice of rural life is enjoyed by everybody. Come along and enjoy it!”

Freds Pass Rural Show
COST $6-$73

Photo: Paz Tassone

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