13 March 2024

Yass Valley gears up to produce its best - and show it all off this Saturday

| Sally Hopman
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Man and four women in front of old grandstand

Yass Show Society’s Robert McAuliffe, Anne Hazell, Marcia Kingston and Catriona McAuliffe with Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain, centre, in front of the grandstand which will soon be restored to its former glory. Photo: Supplied.

There’ll be more than one reason to celebrate when the Yass Show Society opens its gates this Saturday 16 March, for its 161st agricultural show.

Not only will locals and visitors experience all the fun of the show, but a timely Federal Government grant will fund the restoration of the showground’s historic grandstand back to its former glory.

A $1 million funding commitment will pave the way for the long-awaited works to begin, including replacement of the grandstand roof and corrugated iron wall sheeting, electrical upgrades including the installation of lighting, new handrails and balustrades and repair of flooring and seating.

President of the Yass Show Society Anne Hazell said with only days to go before the 2024 show, the news was particularly welcome for the many volunteers who worked tirelessly each year to keep the show going – and showcase the region’s best produce.

She said the grandstand was an important part of Yass’s history and she applauded the small but dedicated group of show society volunteers who had spent the past few years lobbying for the grandstand’s restoration – “from organising tradies to doing all the paperwork”.

“They have done a lot of work to get to this point,” she said, “and we are delighted with how it has worked out.

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“We are so excited to be able to restore the grandstand to its former glory, and preserve a part of Yass history that is over 120 years old,” she said.

“We hope future generations will enjoy our efforts. An added bonus is that this project will support local businesses who are going to do the work.”

Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain said the Yass community had been calling for upgrades for the ageing grandstand for many years.

“Not only will revitalising the grandstand ensure its fit-for-purpose into the future, it will go a long way in preserving the show’s rich history and traditions for generations to come,” she said.

Back and white photo of rural show

One of the first Yass Shows, circa 1900, when everyone who was anyone, was there – as was the original showground. Photo: Yass Show Society.

“Improved grandstand facilities will also support bigger community events – increasing tourism and spending in the Yass Valley.

“I’m so pleased the funding agreement is now locked in thanks to the tireless efforts of many volunteers, and I can’t wait to see works progress on this fantastic project.”

The 2024 Yass Show opens at 8 am this Saturday, one of the few remaining traditional country shows that relies on the old-school events like showcasing its best produce and livestock to attract visitors.

It combines this with crowd favourites like the woodchop, dog competition, horse events, wool classes and shearing, petting paddock, antique machinery display and free activities for children including the popular decorated wheelbarrow competiton.

“People like the Yass Show because it is a relaxed, laid-back event,” Ms Hazell said. “There’s something for all the family and the children are safe to wander around and see everything.

“It’s a traditional sort of show and people like that.”

The 161st Yass Show will be held at the Yass Showground, 16 Grand Junction Road, on Saturday, 16 March, from 8 am to 5 pm.

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on About Regional.

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