When the country came to town: Horowhenua A&P Show
Agricultural & Pastoral shows were an annual feature of my rural upbringing. Last year we went to the Masterton show; this year (a couple of weeks ago) we went to one in Levin.
Levin is one of main centres of the Horowhenua District, about an hour and a half north of Wellington. Normally just somewhere you drive through, it was unusual for it to be the destination.
If you’re not too familiar with the A&P show concept, the photos while not definitive should give you a flavour.
I have a soft spot for pigs as a result of my farm upbringing. When I was much younger I collected pig figurines and for a time did not eat pig meat, but now… well, bacon is delicious. And many years later, after fetching a few boxes and things out of storage, Mike banned my pig collection from entering the house. I sent them to a new (hopefully more caring) home way down south somewhere.
The horses may have been miniature in stature but crikey the stallion, um, wasn’t. Those little lady horses were pretty cute though.
An A&P show isn’t complete without all the arts and crafts, which go under the name ‘home industries’. There was so much baking it probably wasn’t the wisest exhibit to visit when hungry.
I was interested to see that the modern version of the decorated sand saucer competition that I remember entering is now the decorated round wine biscuit competition. More edible, I’ll grant them that.
Probably the highlight for me was the Dog & Duck Show.
Sooner or later it was inevitable that we’d end up in the amusement park. The boys got a few coupons each from which they had to decide which rides to go on.
After a quick visit to the trade shed to buy lollies and candy floss, we were A&Pd out. Time to go home.