ACT News


Rain dampens returns on show's last day

The Royal Canberra Show came to a wet end on Sunday and Canberrans can expect a wet end to summer, with rain predicted every day for the rest of the week.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Allan Beattie said 11.2 millimetres of rain fell at Canberra Airport between 9am on Saturday and about 5pm on Sunday, with wind speeds up to 22 knots and a top temperature of 25.9 degrees.

The bureau is predicting a warm Monday with a maximum temperature of 29 degrees, scattered showers and the chance of thunderstorms.

It expects the capital to cool gradually until Friday, with showers expected all week and the chance of thunderstorms on most days. Early predictions for the weekend are for shower or two and a maximum of 23 degrees on both days.

Show organisers reported a 2 per cent increase in the number of people through the turnstiles on Friday, opening day, compared with last year.

But on Sunday afternoon, a spokeswoman said, the rain had kept some people away and attendance was unlikely to better last year's 98,000 figure or meet the 100,000 goal set for the show in the city's centenary year.


Several events, including the motocross display and the demolition derby, were cancelled on Sunday due to safety concerns in the damp conditions, and organisers would not comment on whether the show had insurance cover for wet weather.

Les Evans owns a sideshow where customers pay to shoot toy rifles to win prizes.

He said the Canberra show was well run, and had the rain not set in on Sunday, it would have probably been highly profitable for sideshow operators, but he was grateful the turnout at EPIC was not worse.

''It probably hasn't been as good as other years, but considering the weather you're lucky to have anybody here.''

Mr Evans said he had been coming to the show for about 30 years and the weekend was traditionally suffocatingly hot.

One sideshow attendant, who did not want to be named, said she had been part of the travelling show community for two years.

She said there had been significantly less business in Canberra this year compared with last year. ''This is one of the big shows we do, it's an important one … I worry for the boss,'' she said.

But another sideshow attendant said Saturday's takings would be enough at least to buy petrol to take him to the next town on the circuit.

The wet weather can be expected to continue until late March or early April, with afternoon showers and storms likely to be a regular feature until then.