The gates to this year's Tenterfield Show are being thrown open for free, for a day or two of fun and friendly competition away from drought and fire worries and their repercussions.
The show runs February 7 and 8 and this year's theme is, fittingly enough, Celebrating Community Spirit.
The free entry is due to another generous grant from the Hunter New England and Central CoastPrimary Health Network. Patrons are asked to instead donate to the Salvation Army and drought relief.
More money can be saved by grabbing some of the discounted ride passes now available at Herbie and Bella in Rouse St, costing $30 instead of the usual $40 if purchased pre-show, or $45 on the day. The discounts have been made possible through a Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal grant.
There will be lots of free craft activities for kids at the Shearing Complex throughout the show, thanks to Tenterfield Shire Council and the wonderful artisans from Make It Tenterfield.
The Pamper Tent has this year been sponsored by Tenterfield Rotary, the Royal Agricultural Society and Wagners, and will offer haircuts, makeup, massages and fingernail art, along with plenty of giveaways.
A fashion parade will take place in the Shearing Complex at 1pm on the Saturday, just prior to the grand parade and the opening of the show at 3pm. NSW Governor David Hurley returns to Tenterfield to join past resident and acclaimed Indigenous artist Bronwyn Bancroft to officially open the show.
Details of show highlights will be rolled out over the next few weeks, but the word is that the Aussie FMX local riders will be back in Tenterfield to perform on the Friday night.
It's time to put together teams for the Farmers Challenge (six members including at least two ladies), and perhaps to get in some practice eating cold pies, drinking warm beer, changing a tyre, rolling hay and constructing a pen. It was great fun last year but organiser Peter Chittick said scrutineers might a bit more strict this year after rampant cheating last year, and the tasks a little more challenging. It will be worth it though, with a prize pool of $1200 on offer.
And not wanting to create any more work for our legendary firies, the usual fireworks will this year be replaced by a laser light show.