Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's Ekka Time!

It's cold, and we're all home sick, which in Brisbane can only mean one thing: It's Ekka Time.

For those playing at home outside of Australia, The Ekka is an iconic Brisbane event which has been held since 1876.

It's when 'the country comes to the city'. Over 10 days, visitors will roam the showgrounds clocking the country's best animals, cooking, fine arts, produce, and more.

The word 'Ekka' is Queensland slang for Exhibition, but over the years it's built into a massive carnival as well.

There's sideshow alley, packed full of stomach-churning rides and high-pressure carnies tempting visitors to part with their hard-earned cash for what they think will be a huge fluffy toy, but will instead probably be a piece of shiny, plastic crap.

And then there's the food. While in recent years, there's been an increase in cooking shows and quality eateries; plus wine, coffee, nut, olive oil and wine tasting; there are iconic Ekka foods which should only be enjoyed once a year.

These include Dagwood Dogs or Pluto Pups, depending on where you buy them. They are battered frankfurts on sticks, generally dipped in tomato sauce. About 185,000 will be consumed this year. And of course, strawberry sundaes, an intriguing mix of ice-cream and strawberries served in a cone. Some 145,000 of those are expected to be eaten this year.

There are more than 10,0000 animals on display, 11,200 competition classes, and 20,000 competitions.

For some city peeps, the Ekka is the first time they get to see cows being milked, baby animals born, or wood being chopped. Not to mention the fireworks displays!

At Chez MIA, the jury is out as to whether we'll attend. For the kids, many of the attractions are the sideshow rides and showbags, all of which tend to add up very quickly. Add in ticket prices, food and drink, and a day at the Ekka, while always fun, turns into an expensive day out.

Needless to say, Mr 10 and Miss 8 have launched a relentless campaign to talk me into taking them, spruiking the fact that there's a lot to be seen that doesn't cost extra.

Point taken.

But there's also the sickness fear. Throw in the fact that we're already sick - tonsillitis, sinus and asthma - and that some 400,000 people will move through the gates to the Ekka this year, and I'm thinking it's a germy prescription for yet more days off school and visits to the GP.

So we'll see.

Some families decide to have a night or two at a swanky hotel, or take the kids to an all-inclusive theme park instead of going to the Ekka, citing the cost.

Regardless, the Ekka should be experienced by kids (big and small) at least once in their lives.

Readers, what would you do?

Showbags. Image courtesy of The Ekka Media Centre.


Ms_MotorbikeNut said...

We are one of them families that for would rather take our child away for the weekend to do something she has not done before like horse riding etc or even just go away for a relaxing weekend.

Kids in our minds can go to the Ekka when they are teenagers I did take my oldest daughter to the Ekka when she was around 9 yrs old and she told me years later she enjoyed it more going with teenage friends then actually as a small kid.

(((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

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