Bellarine’s best on show

Bellarine Agricultural Show aims to give children the opportunity to interact with the rural spirit in a tactile way.

Portarlington comes to life this weekend with the 32nd Bellarine Agricultural Show.

The region’s best gardeners, handcrafters, livestock, jumping dogs and gumboot tossers will congregate at Portarlington Recreation Reserve to display their skills, with live music, a kids adventure trail, rides and the much-loved vintage machinery also part of the fun.

Bellarine Agricultural Society president Denise Kent said everyone involved in bringing the show to life was very excited for the event.

“It’s shaping up very, very well,” she said.

“We’re a new committee this year, so we’ve had a lot of work to do and for some of us a lot to get used to.

“But we’re lucky, we have a lot of community-minded people who understand that something like this can’t be staged without the assistance of volunteers. We have up to 80 or more on the day.”

She said the show, which attracts up to 4000 people each year, offered kids and families the opportunity to see a side of life they might not normally get to experience.

“Our focus is on agriculture, that’s where the Bellarine’s history is,” Ms Kent said.

“We try to keep it a family event, because modern life often gets so caught up in technology and bright lights and noise. The basic ingredients of life can get lost.

“We have tractor rides and there’s a children’s adventure trail which is a real adventure for them.

“The petting zoo is always popular, but also it’s the bigger animals too that I think kids love to see.

“We’ll have a few cows, we’re having a horse event, there’s going to be goats, there’s going to be sheep. And these are only seen in the paddock from cars if people are looking, the kids are usually looking at screens, but here they can actually get right up close.”

Ms King said the focus this year was on wool, with showgoers able to witness the entire process from sheep to woolly jumper.

“We’ve got sponsorship from the Wool Museum, so we’re covering everything from early forms of shearing to modern machine shearing, to wool classing, wool packing,” she said.

“And then spinning the yarn from the wool that’s been shorn and then crocheting and knitting up to a finished product, so people can see the whole process happen.”