ACT News

Animals and fairy floss for iconic Canberra Show launch

Thrill seekers, animal lovers and show bag enthusiasts will get their annual fix from the Royal Canberra Show when the iconic event returns to Exhibition Park next month.

Canberrans at the show's launch in Civic on Thursday scored free carousel rides, fairy floss and snow cones while joined by sheep, chicken and dogs.

President of the Royal National Agricultural Society, Stephen Beer, promised a new entertainment precinct called Heritage Park and rides as "modern, big and expensive" as ever.

Heritage Park will feature agricultural working machinery, blacksmiths and wood bodgers.

"It's a new format in the way we are going to showcase the tractors, the ploughs, the harvesters, some of the early vehicles and land rovers and pumping machines," Mr Beer said.

"People will be able to view all of this early agriculture in one spot."

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A new and improved firework display will see explosions of colour from different points around the arena as opposed to from the centre.

Some of the family favourites set to return include livestock, woodchopping, car racing and stunts, live music, fashion parades and the Harvest Hall overflowing with cakes and bread.

Also back this year will be the Canberra Royal Next Gen agricultural youth group, which Melba's Brooke Mills has been involved with for 16 years.

"We'll be running some farming challenges, getting kids and people involved from any age up until 30," she said.

"A team that wins the competition will be heading to the Sydney Royal [Easter Show] to compete in their challenge".

She'll also bring along her show dogs, Energy and Wednesday.

Betty Zhang, from Watson, decided she'd likely take her three-year-old daughter Yuting Hu to her first Canberra Show after she could barely keep her away from the animals at the launch.

About 90,000 people attended last year's Canberra Show, and Paul Walsh is hoping for 100,000 this year.

"It attracts not just our local people but also people from interstate who eat in our restaurants, stay in our accommodation and visit our great entertainment," he said.

The Canberra Show is held at Exhibition Park on February 16, 27 and 28.

Pre-tickets to the show can be purchased online at ticketek.com.au or at ActewAGL stores in City Walk, Civic or at 100 Gladstone Street, Fyshwick.

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