It’s the clowns that get me. Scary to look at, but you just cannot look away. Not that I’m afraid to see clowns that are, say, up on the big screen. I’ve only just watched It: Chapter Two and I’m looking forward to seeing the Joker movie this week. But those munted-looking plaster clowns at the Perth Royal Show really do get to me, their freakish heads swiveling left, right left…
Still, the ‘Laughing Clowns’ have been a staple of the Show for decades now. And this year I decided to delve into a lot of old-school stuff as I ventured with my partner Ben through Claremont Showgrounds on a warm and sunny Tuesday.
First stop, the Animal Nursery, where we got up close and snuggly with a couple of baby chicks and the cutest piglets you ever did see. While we didn’t get a chance to feed any of the animals this time, we’ll be sure to book a session in next year.
Pigs may not fly but they can do some mighty active stuff when given the chance!
For the more adventurous of animal lovers, you can always check out the Racing & Diving Pigs arena, where performing piggies make a literal splash after launching themselves from a diving board, and also try to compete against each other on the racing track. Pigs may not fly but they can do some mighty active stuff when given the chance!
Next stop, the Farm 2 Food Pavilion where everything from organic to free-range produce is put into the hands of kids taking over the kitchen to create healthy – often daring – dishes while learning the importance of sustainable farming and horticulture.
All that healthy stuff didn’t deter us from craving some good old-fashioned carnival junk food.
Novelty food was the big thing this year and we managed to squeeze in some ‘donut fries’ (think gooey dough deep-fried in the shape of chips… yummy!) and rainbow burgers (I got charcoal, he got green). We did consider chomping on a giant turkey leg but that would have filled us up too quickly for the rides that lay ahead.
In keeping with the traditional theme, the rides we opted for this year were a couple of basic ones – the good ol’ Ghost Train and trusty Rollercoaster, but we also had a go on the Scorpion in which patrons sit snugly in a pod that tilts up the faster the ride spins round.
One thing I learnt this year is that some ride operators work in conjunction with food outlets. The guys who ran the Sizzler ride, for example, paired with a coffee house close by to create a value deal. For $10, you get a coffee of your choice, sizeable Nutella donut, and a ride on the Sizzler – which, admittedly, is a little tamer than the Scorpion. Still, it’s a very good deal for those who are budgeting.
Next, we thought we’d ogle a couple of studs trying their hand at the High Striker. They didn’t exactly reach Thor standards of smashin’ with that hammer but we can say they did try.
I myself stuck to magnet-fishing with the aim of actually losing so that I could score the consolation prizes of a mini furry toy pig and donkey for my pet Chihuahua, Ringo.
Ringo still has the furry toy I brought back from last year’s show, albeit with all its stuffing gone, hence fresh toys were a must this year.
Speaking of fun toys and stuff, a trip to the show is not complete with a trek down showbag alley. We stocked up on bags containing sour chews, Chupa Chups, bubble gum and chockies galore. But it was the Beatles lifestyle bag that I mostly coveted this year. For $26, it’s filled with very useful goodies including a lenticular tumbler (that’s holographic, to the uninitiated), calico bag, cool cap, wall banner, tin sign, drink bottle and, not one, but two Yellow Submarine key rings (an accidental score!).
After four hours of walking around, zipping on rides, and lugging bulky showbags, we decided to call it a day. But not before a quick squiz at some of the winning entries in this year’s food awards, and just one last snack at the packed Dairy Pavilion (having been lead there by two spotted cow mascots). That snack happened to be a simple toasted cheesy sandwich, but by god was it a delicious: simple great taste to end this year’s show with.