Show us some support, say organisers of annual event

ROUND THEM UP: Working dogs Salt and Choker in action during an event at the Rutherglen Show in October, 2013.
ROUND THEM UP: Working dogs Salt and Choker in action during an event at the Rutherglen Show in October, 2013.

RUTHERGLEN residents are being urged to support the town’s long-running agricultural show amid warnings the event is “looking down the barrel of closure”.

Secretary Diane O’Dwyer said the event, which will be held for the 129th time on October 22, needed more attendees through the gates.

There is no immediate fear the show will fold, but Ms O’Dwyer said the future could be uncertain if things didn’t improve.

“We need to maintain the income stream,” she said.

“We make very little money out of the show but it’s something we believe the community has valued over the years.

“We’d like to maintain it.

“We need the support of people to continue.”

Many regional shows have been struggling to draw attendees in recent years.

Ms O’Dwyer believes that was due to more specialised events being held.

“There are so many different breed shows that people go to for specialty livestock, breeds of sheep, or dairy or angus cattle,” she said.

“Once upon a time, if you won a championship for the best bull at the show, that was how you’d advertise your breed.

“Now there are lots of breed shows.

“There’s only so many dollars the family has to spend.”

Despite the concerns, Ms O’Dwyer said this year’s event had a range of attractions to draw in crowds, including ferret racing, tug of war, a pet parade and vehicle and machinery displays.

The show will also feature a selfie competition.

Some of the events have prize money up for grabs. 

“I believe that we’re putting on lots of different events that families can enjoy,” she said.

About 2000 people attended last year's show despite flooding in the region. 

Mr O'Dwyer said organisers also needed some stewards to donate a few hours of their time to help run the show. 

"We're trying to get the message out to the community that this is something for them and they need to come and support it,” she said. 

Tickets are free for kids under five, $5 for those between five and 15, $15 for adults and $30 for families.