The Road Ahead : June July 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 63 JUN/JUL 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD FEATURE | MEMBER ESSENTIALS RACQ MEMBER OFFER RACQ members can save 15 percent on Ekka tickets when pre-purchased from RACQ. Enjoy award-winning food and wine, carnival rides and games, hours of family entertainment and an evening show complete with lasers, water fountains, fireworks and performances from Australian stars. Visit racq.com/ekka for details. NOTHING EVOKES THE Queenslander spirit -- excluding State of Origin -- quite like the Ekka. Since its inception in 1876, the purpose of the festival has been to unite city and country in a unique celebration of Queensland lifestyle. 2014 will be no exception, with the dates of the show changed to Friday, August 8, to Sunday, August 17, to provide even more opportunities for people to experience it. "The change will make the Ekka more accessible to visitors, providing families and those who work with two full weekends to enjoy all aspects of the show," The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) Chief Executive Brendan Christou said. "It also means that the much-loved night-time entertainment program at Ekka 2014 will, for the first time, run for all 10 days of the show -- commencing on the very first night." The very first Ekka -- then known as the 'Intercolonial Exhibition of 1876' -- was organised by the National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland and attracted more than three-quarters of the Brisbane population of the time. The first 'Royal' show was held in 1921, after the association was granted the prefix by His Majesty King George V. Since then, the name 'Ekka' has replaced 'Exhibition' and it has been held every year with only two exceptions -- in 1919, when Brisbane suffered a Spanish influenza epidemic and in 1942, during wartime, when the showgrounds were used as a staging depot for troops moving north. "For 136 years, the Ekka has celebrated all that is great about Queensland and from the very beginning it has embraced 'change', acting as a showcase for new, different and exciting initiatives, developments, competitions and entertainment year after year," Mr Christou said. TAKE A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE AND DISCOVER SOME QUIRKY FACTS ABOUT THE EKKA'S EARLY DAYS: A key event at the first show in 1876 was a competition for the best sample of five tonnes of manure, deodorised and prepared in the most economical form of use. The first-ever showbag was a bag of coal. In the 1920s, a flock of 90 sheep was used to maintain the lawns at RNA Showgrounds. At the first show, there was a competition for the fastest- walking farm horse. Main arena entertainment continued to expand in 1966, with the Zachini family presenting a human cannonball act -- with the father coordinating, the mother firing and their children propelled across the ring into a net. During the Great Depression, new entertainment was introduced including goat races that attracted 100 competitors in a single show. MEMBER M OFFER O O IMAGES: COURTESY OF THE RNA. COURTESY OF THE COURIER MAIL.