Here in the Rosewood Scrub, show season is upon us. Almost every little town has its own show and flavour. We even have a day off school on Thursday for the Ipswich Show Holiday. Most of all though, it is a time for neighbours and community to get together, show off their produce and handicrafts and support local organisations.
The Marburg Show combines its agricultural origins with more recent innovations. Cattle showing, baking, jam and handicraft competitions, produce displays and hay stacking races vie with ute parades, motorcycle jumping, bush poetry and dance displays. There is always a large schoolwork display with several local schools competing hotly for “best overall school display” and individual writing and artwork prizes. And being Marburg, there are the trotting/pacing races and general admiration of horseflesh.
As members of three community groups, we are always busy at the show. The school takes precedence with its food stall serving megaburgers and hot dogs from dawn onwards. The Historical Society has a stall and members of the Residents’ Association are involved in most aspects of the show. In addition to helping out on the day, a good portion of time is devoted to talking to people whom we may only see on these occasions (aside from driving past and waving at each other during the week) and also checking out all the displays and rides. The grand conclusion for us is watching the fireworks from our hillside with sleepy children in their pyjamas staring at the sky and wanting to go back to the show.
Marburg is running its 86th annual show, in spite of the fact that in 2012, it will celebrate its 125th anniversary. The discrepancy is due to the fact that no shows were held during the world wars. The first show in the area was held in 1887. With its pacing club, cricket club and weekly dance at the showground, Marburg has hung onto the traditions that once tied a rural, migrant population together and is stronger for it.