The iconic Wānaka A&P Show, held at the Wānaka Showgrounds over two days from March 13-14, is one of New Zealand’s largest agricultural and pastoral events and injects at least $11 million into the Upper Clutha economy each year.
Wānaka Show event manager Jane Stalker said approximately 40,000 people attended the event.
“What a tremendous couple of days:” she said. “We’ve had lots of positive feedback from our attendees this year, and our competitors and contributors were first class. The show has been a highlight of the Upper Clutha calendar for more than 80 years now, and there’s no sign of it slowing down, it’s just as popular as ever.”
Livestock and equestrian entries were significantly higher for this year’s show, with 274 horses (comprising a total of 1900 equestrian entries – almost at record levels) 159 sheep (double the amount from last year), 95 cattle (up almost 60 per cent on the past few years) and 41 boer goats.
As well as a bumper year for livestock and equestrian entries, about 30 food stalls were kept busy, and about 500 trade stalls provided an outdoor shopping experience. The traditional show highlights of classic carnival rides, family entertainment, home industry displays and the K9 Jack Russell race also drew crowds.
The theme of this year’s show was “Acres of Ingenuity”, a celebration of farming diversification and innovation. Local businesses Hook, LandEscape, New Zealand Cherry Corp and Taylor Pass Honey Co. took prime position in a dedicated marquee after winning the show’s Acres of Ingenuity marketing campaign competition last year.
“2020 was a particularly special show as it enabled us to put the spotlight not only on our traditional agricultural and pastoral operations but those innovative, up-and-coming businesses of the Upper Clutha that are utilising the land to do wonderful things,” Stalker said. “We were also honoured to host the World Hereford Conference and the NZ Merino Breeders Exhibition this year.”
Preparations will now begin for next year’s Wānaka Show, which will be held March 12-13, 2021.
“It’s great to be recognised as one of the South Island’s most anticipated events and one that has the ability to bring townspeople and countryfolk together,” Stalker said. “As always, we want to thank the local community for their continued support.”