THE crackle of the fireworks on Saturday night, audible in various parts of the city, was a reminder that it was Royal Bathurst Show weekend.
(min cost $8)
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It's hoped that not too many locals needed a reminder, though.
The point is made often enough, but it's always worth repeating, that the big community events of this city live and die on the interest shown by residents.
The army of volunteers who organise the show can do all the hard work they want in the lead-up, but they need their enthusiasm and passion to be matched by those who line up at the gates.
(And they need the weather to work with them: rain during the first half of Saturday was a shame, but things did get better from there.)
The Royal Bathurst Show is a gift passed down to the current generation from a preceding generation and it's up to us to respect that gift.
That's not just for sentimentality's sake, but for history's sake.
Any long-running community event, though, must also be prepared to adapt and evolve and we saw some of that with the Royal Bathurst Show this year.
The change in name for the showgirl competition (now the Bathurst Young Woman Ambassador competition) was one example, but there are other incremental changes all the time.
It's hard to imagine what the original organisers of the show would have made of the motorised esky race held on Saturday night, but it's unlikely they would have approved.
They probably wouldn't have approved of showbags or noisy rides, either. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be part of the show.
The Royal Bathurst Show is not a museum piece, it's a community extravaganza that reflects its times.
Amid all the changes, though, the essence of the show remains.
It's a chance for the farming community to compete and connect, a chance for the greater community to be entertained, a chance for kids to enjoy the thrill of the rides, a chance for local businesses to put their goods in front of a big crowd.
It's a chance to come across a friend in the crowd that you haven't seen for ages, a chance to be reminded that there is more to the Bathurst district than the urban area.
Long may the Royal Bathurst Show reign. Is it too early to start counting down to 2023?
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