RAIN in the area put smiles on the faces of visitors to this year’s Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama rather than keeping them away.
“When I got there at 7.30am on Saturday morning and it was still drizzling I thought it was just going to be me, a few sheep and a couple of sheep dogs,” said Howie Ward after his first Woolorama as president.
“But I thought the crowds on Saturday were pretty good considering – they were probably a bit down on previous years because of the rain in the morning, but still pretty good,” Mr Ward said.
“I think it was a great Woolorama for my first as president (Mr Ward was involved with the previous 14 Wooloramas as a wool steward).
“Cattle numbers were up (a big jump from 159 animals last year to 175 this year), the Merino section looked like being a bit down this year but I understand some late entries brought the numbers back up.
“The trade fair was full – there was no more room on the oval.
“The only spaces were where an exhibitor didn’t turn up, we couldn’t have fitted any more in.
“I went for a walk through the commercial section and there were no negative comments – a few constructive ones, but no negative ones, everyone was happy there too.
“Numbers at the rodeo finale might have been down a bit because of the day, but I was there for quite a while and everyone enjoyed a great show.”
Mr Ward paid tribute to the army of volunteers who made the 47th Woolorama and 116th Wagin Agricultural Show possible in the first place, with four months of intensive preparation, and such a success over Friday and Saturday.
“It’s a great organisation,” he said of the organising committee and the volunteers.
“I’d also like to thank our staff because each one of them volunteers far more hours than just doing their job.”
Mr Ward said he enjoyed his first Woolorama as president and hoped to continue in the role next year.
Woolorama publicity officer Diana Blacklock said it would be a few days before it was known whether the official attendance figure matched last year’s 25,000 people.
She said the general feeling was that the crowds were up on Friday and down a bit on Saturday because of the rain in the morning.
Apart from the increased number of cattle shown, the number of bidders in the Woolorama beef auction was also up to about 20, with “more individual bidders than butchers” this year, she said.
“Our junior judges numbers also were up this year with nine schools and 150 students participating,” Ms Blacklock said.
Official statistics were still being assembled and results put up online, she said.
But it looks like the fashion parades, which this year featured women from the local netball club, two local footballers and local children on the catwalk, and the dog jumping retained their crowd-pulling power as the two most popular Woolorama daytime events.
- Make sure you get this week's edition of Farm Weekly for a 56-page review of the event.