Experience at the helm in 2018
AFTER more than 40 years involved with the Warwick Show, it seems fitting that John Maher be the man to lead the team heading into the 151st running of the event.
In his first year as show chairman, Mr Maher hopes the show can reach the dizzy heights of the ceremony of the 2017 milestone show.
"It would be great to top it,” he said.
"If we can get close we'll be very happy.
"It was a huge show last year and this year is shaping up to offer the same to everyone who comes along.”
Mr Maher said taking the helm had been a challenge.
"But I'm fairly experienced with the ins and out of how it all works though, so it's a challenge I'm enjoying.”
The show committee wasted no time after the 2017 edition, getting straight to work soon after the carnies had shipped out and the dust had settled.
"That's pretty standard, we'll get together straight away and make a point of fixing anything that needs to be fixed, taking things out, adding things in,” he said.
"Learning from previous shows is very important when planning the next one.”
One thing that's high on the agenda is keeping the children happy.
"If the kids want to come, so do the parents,” he said.
"So we need to make sure we have something for everyone to enjoy.
"Also having that public holiday on the Friday allows to focus on bringing in the crowds to enjoy that day and night of show activities.
"The Friday night fireworks are always huge, sideshow alley is in full swing and the arena action is always a drawcard, so we make sure it's a great start to the weekend.”
Then once the fireworks are done, about 9pm, the demolition derby kicks into gear.
"There's a few revheads in Warwick,” Mr Maher said.
"And most people love seeing the smash-ups, waiting to see the biggest hit and who can keep going the longest.”
Mr Maher said a dry year might have an effect on the number of prime cattle and sheep at the 2018 show.
"Given the conditions, people will do the best they can and I'm sure we'll see some fantastic entries from right around the region,” he said.
School participation is important and Mr Maher said Warwick was always well represented in this department.
"The kids' sections are always very well received,” he said.
"Kids and parents love to see their works on display, it's a proud moment and a popular part of the show.
"They usually enter in the cooking sections, painting and photography among others.”
Another major attraction is bound to be the return of the show rodeo on the Saturday night.
"It's been away for a couple of years,” Mr Maher said.
"But due to the popularity and the demand from many people who wanted to see it come back, we've made that happen.
"It's the final event in the Border Region Buckle Series in the open bull ride, and will feature all the other great rodeo events like the saddle bronc, barrel races, poddy ride, steer rides and more.”
The 151st Warwick Show will run from March 23 to 25.