RACING FORWARD: Maclean's picturesque showground is a perfect place for competitions. (Inset) Show President: Brian Ferrie
RACING FORWARD: Maclean's picturesque showground is a perfect place for competitions. (Inset) Show President: Brian Ferrie

Bigger and better Maclean show

A STORM early last year put paid to the 2018 Maclean Show but Show Society president Brian Ferrie said you couldn't keep a good show down and it will be back bigger and better than ever.

Celebrating 127 years (give or take wars, floods and storms) the Maclean Show, to be held May 7 and 8, has always been an integral part of the Lower Clarence region.

The society was formed to bring early settlers together to share farming knowledge and to show the district their achievements.

The Agricultural and Industrial Show in Maclean is now, natural disasters willing, an annual attraction where farmers and industry workers can present their wares, but it also allows exhibitors from all walks of life to display their talents, gain knowledge and learn from fellow exhibitors.

The event is run by a few dedicated committee members and a host of much-valued volunteers including Brian and his wife Louise.

Brian stepped in to replace the then president "for a couple of years" but that was 11 years ago and he and Louise are still an integral part of the event and have been hard at work (with the other committee members and volunteers) for several weeks already as it comes up to showtime.

While he's been president for 11 years, Brian is a born and bred local so he's been involved a lot longer than that.

"It was exciting when we were kids - I supposed I've missed shows since then but I don't remember when," he laughed.

Last year a storm early in the year severely damaged a pavilion, forcing the society to pull the pin on the main show for the year but that doesn't mean the show didn't go on - sort of.

"The showman's guild still wanted to come and do sideshow alley," Brian said.

"So we decided to put on a carnival - it was a gold coin donation on the day. It ended up being a great day."

But the main show is back for 2019.

"The pavilion is still damaged but we will have a big marquee this year," Brian said.

The two-day event will feature a full program of ring events as well as sideshow alley, fireworks on the second (and main) day, a smash-up derby, performances by Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont, and even an Outback extravaganza.

For full details, go to macleanshow.org.au