It appears that only one family from our 'real life' friends are going to the Ekka this year.
The rest are citing the expense and/or the risk of flu, whooping cough, and all the other Dreaded Lurgies doing the rounds this year.
Even though we've been sick, the kids are still begging to go, and I would love to take them.
However, my social media peeps have been keeping me informed, and to be honest, they don't make it sound too enticing.
Here are a few examples:
@simonband: absolute chaos as police martial shoulder to shoulder crowds set to riot at the smaller show bag pavilion #ekka #notajoke
@o_Natalie_o: Biggest waste of time, the Internet scam van. Next to the car dealers. Felt like they were recruiting us...#Ekka
@jendudley Word is spreading around the #ekka about the substandard strawberry ice creams. One person queueing.
@DebRyan66 The showbag pavillion at #Ekka yesterday had bouncers, crowd control for those who want to pay $25 for $5 of plastic. #mayhem
@Graham_Friend Back from the #Ekka. Dropped 350 in 4 hours. How cheap is that!!
And then there were more positive tweets like:
@simonband i just watched a sheep do a poo #ekka
@simonband i'm watching lambs being born #ekka
@kliplet Asked 7y son how was it? - "Best day of the week" #ekka
@bern_morley: Bertie Beetled out #Ekka
So it seems there are pros and cons.
As for costs, apparently a single, heart-attack-inducing Dagwood Dog/Pluto pup will set you back $5! Can you believe that? Fair suck of the (battered) sav ...
Sounds like the $2 Coon cheese toasties at the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavillion are the Ekka's best bargain treat.
And for foodies, there's a $7 Ekka pie which is supposed to be amazing. ($10 if you want mushy peas, potato and gravy).
Or from Let's Do Yum Cha, the $2.50 dumplings and yum cha (or 5 for $10) sound like another bargain.
I was thrilled to read there is still a CWA (Country Woman's Association) stand offering their famous Devonshire teas and ham sandwiches. They are always a favourite for Ekka visitors in need of nourishment, tea, and a genuine country smile.
The opinions of the new-look strawberry sundae are mixed, with most dissing them in favour of the traditional ice-creams. (See, you should never mess with tradition?)
Advice on good value goodies from my twitter peeps?
o_Natalie_o The Theiss mining stand at the far end of the #Ekka had little bag for gold coin. Mini mining hat, coloured pencils in case with sharpener, ruler, chocolate. Jellybeans.
#Ekka Government Qld building giving away free fruit...bananas, apples orange 1 per person. Bananas are like gold! (Unsure who this one came from, sorry).
And this: @earleyedition Ekka! Miss2 is seeing the real life animals & animal sounds for the first time!!
Now, I don't think you can put a price on that do you?