I love outdoor events like carnivals, fairs and festivals. There are always events such as those that I look forward to every year. The Royal Brisbane Show is what I look forward to every August. I’ve been busy the previous years so I was very happy when I could go this year.
The Royal Brisbane show or Ekka as it’s called by locals is a weeklong event where the country comes to the city. It is essentially an agriculture exhibition where livestock and produce are displayed and judged. There are competitions for the best cows, horses, chickens as well as quilts, jams, cakes and many more. In addition to the agricultural aspect, there are sideshow, amusement park rides, entertainment, concerts, street performers and small business stalls everywhere. It’s really a great opportunity for boutique companies to make some cash and make a name for themselves. Remember this is no ordinary fair, it’s an exhibition so everything is on a grand scale. We even have a public holiday so everyone can go. … well at least it’s a public holiday for Brisbanites but kids sometimes skip school so they can go.
The best way to get to the Ekka is by train. There’s no parking at the show grounds, people just park down the road or a few blocks away but it’s always full so it’s best to take the train. You can even purchase Ekka tickets at any Queensland train stations. I went with my brothers to the Ekka. Some people are jaded by the event because there’s too many people, they think it’s too expensive and a notorious place to catch the flu since it is winter during the Ekka. I agree with all those things but I still go because it’s great to be outdoors and there’s lots of interesting things to see.
We spent the day wandering around the fairgrounds, looking through pavilion after pavilion. We saw the quilt display, art show, various food pavilions, horses, beef, school children displays, cats, dogs and show bags.
One of the things I love at the Ekka is the bewildering variety of food stalls. There was Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Malaysian, Japanese and many more foods available, not to mention traditional carnival food like corn dogs and fries. When we were hungry we ate delicious barbecue pork rolls with coleslaw, honey puffs, cheese toasties (grilled cheese) and washed it down with honeycomb milkshakes. Some of the food can be pretty pricey but that’s due to it belonging to small businesses who often have grown the produce themselves and pride themselves on high quality products. You can always bring your own food as well. The cheapest food I encountered at the Ekka was the Cheese toastie at $2 a sandwich. The Cheese toastie stand was quite popular with teenagers and young families who wanted to quickly feed their children.
It was a great day and we were pretty tired by the end of it. Here’s a tip, wear comfortable shoes that you can walk around in all day and maybe bring a hat. August is the last month of winter for Australia so it’s usually bright and sunny during the Ekka.