But it's Ekka time, and I'm a Queensland girl, so how can I not?
Now, I could have taken out a bank loan and taken the kids myself, but my Ex has already bought tickets for them, and is promising to spend up big, and to be honest, it's all rather a bit of a relief.
Though the child in me always gets excited at the thought of the Ekka - the smell of cow/horse/miscellaneous animal poo; the calorific Dagwood Dogs dipped into those giant buckets of budget tomato sauce; the strawberry ice-creams, which actually can be a hit and miss affair; the noise and vomit of sideshow alley; and last, but not least, the showbags: The tacky, overpriced, but completely necessary showbags.
This year, the adult in me has thought: Actually, I'm pretty okay with the fact that I'm not going.
Normally we schlep all the way into the showgrounds - and parking is cheaper than the train, but still involves a bit of a walk for little legs, before you even get in the gates.
Then there are the crowds. The noise. And of course, the prices. (I've heard it's $4.50 for a strawberry ice-cream this year? Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
And although there are plenty of free things, in the past we've found it so busy and so difficult to negotiate, that we only ever see a fraction of things on offer. And my kids are usually too cold/tired/over-stimulated/ or just plain cranky, to stay for the night program.
But in the interests of supporting our iconic annual event, I thought I'd share a few fun facts, courtesy of The Ekka's media department.
- The Ekka is Queensland’s largest event
- More than 70 per cent of the Showgrounds are dedicated to free activities
- Throughout the 10 days of the Ekka there are more than 3,000 free things to do and see.
- Visitors can admire fine arts displays which contain 1300 photographs, 963 craft entries, 900 paintings, 900 cookery entries, 100 quilts, and 37 sculptures
- In the Brisbane Markets Agricultural Hall there are 20 major fruit and vegetable exhibits which are made up of more than 110 metre-long banana hands, more than 100 pineapples, as well as 20 giant pumpkins
- There are 300 dogs to look at, 2,000 chooks, 70 geese, 100 ducks, 80 canaries, 50 pigeons, 1,200 beef cattle, 700 horses, 160 cats, 120 dairy goats (including 30 kids), 150 alpacas, 400 dairy cows, 150 goats, and 200 fish.
- Visitors can also enjoy 12 sheepdog trials, 12 incredible garden displays, 30 horse drawn carriages, 200 thoroughbreds, a grand parade, and two livestock parades. Oh, and there are 400 baby animals in the RACQ Animal Nursery and 100 pregnant Ekka Ewes in the Sunny Queen Little Miracles Newborn Corner.
Still not convinced?Importantly, 20 tonnes of manure is removed during Ekka and placed in landfill at Ti Tree Bioenergy, a waste disposal facility which captures environmentally damaging methane and converts it into electricity.
See, so the Ekka is never completely crap!
If you go, enjoy. And have a Dagwood Dog for me!
"You say they want how much for the showbags?"
(Image courtesy of the Ekka Media Centre)