The 2013 Royal Canberra Show
Saturday night at the show. Photo: Rohan Thomson
NOT even the weather could turn people off the Royal Canberra Show, with early attendance numbers up on last year, according to organisers.
Crowd numbers for the wet opening day were 2 per cent higher than last year - a sunny day - with the extra people attributed to the special shows of the centenary year.
''I think people are pretty proud of the centenary of Canberra and we seem to have got that reflected in the gate figures,'' said Garry Ashby, chief executive of the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society.
''At the moment we're a little bit ahead of last year … [and] it looks like we're tracking to do better.
''Last year we scored 98,000 so our goal is to try and get over 100,000 for the 100th year.''
Saturday, traditionally the busiest, had the top exhibitors of the show awarded for their efforts. Emergency services scooped two awards, proving children still love sirens and action. The ACT Fire & Rescue claimed the best outdoor exhibit, and Australian Federal Police the best indoor with plenty of hands-on activities.
In the food division, the hot burek helped Taste of Turkey win Best Food Outlet, with Urban Pasta and its freshly cooked pasta to order taking out the Best Hearty Choice category.
For those looking for a little more spice, a visit to The Chili Factory - the Best Horticulture and Produce exhibit - was in order.
The RSPCA won best not-for-profit exhibit, while the pink and pastel house of My Little Cupcake was awarded the best private company exhibit.
Among the car shows, whip-cracking and sand sculpting, it was the animals pulling the biggest crowds. The enthusiastic, leaping dockdogs drew in the masses on Saturday, as did the Animal Wranglers children's show, which received just as many laughs from grown-ups.