The Royal National Agricultural Show Day Queensland is a state holiday in Queensland, Australia. More commonly known as “Ekka”, it’s the largest annual event in the state of Queensland, with celebrations spanning for more than a week and attracting over 600,000 visitors. Most Australians living in Brisbane and the surrounding areas are given the day off work and school, and businesses are closed for the day.
The holiday mainly affects those in the Brisbane area, although towns in other parts of Queensland may put on celebrations of their own. Nevertheless, most people throughout Queensland tend to gather in the state’s capital city, Brisbane. The event goes on for 10 days from August 9th to August 18th, although only one day is allocated as a public holiday, this year being Wednesday 14th August 2019.
The iconic show has a lengthy history, beginning in 1875 when a group of colonists met in Brisbane and formed their very own agricultural and industrial association. With the remit of promoting Queensland’s agricultural and industrial developments and inventions, the association hosted their first show open to the public a year later in 1876. The event was soon declared a public holiday, enabling people to attend across Queensland.
144 years later, and the show is affectionately referred to as Ekka and continues to be run by The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA). Ekka features fireworks, carnival rides, game stalls, animal competitions ranging from beef cattle to cats and dogs, award-winning food and a grand parade.
While some Queenslanders will use the opportunity of a mid-week public holiday to spend it at home with friends and family, others will use their holiday allowance or annual leave at work to ensure that they can travel to Brisbane and attend the entire event.
Known as the Sunshine State, make sure that you check the weather forecast before travelling to Ekka. Despite it being winter, you should take certain precautions if you will be outdoors in the sunshine for long periods of time, such as applying sun cream, wearing a hat to shade your face and taking a deck chair if you are worried about being on your feet all day.
Ekka has taken actions to ensure that the event is accessible to those with disabilities and mobility issues. The show has restrooms with disabled access throughout the grounds, ramps connecting different areas, viewing areas at the Main Arena for visitors in wheelchairs and designated parking zones for those requiring disabled access.
The show is a fantastic way to celebrate Queensland’s rich history and its traditions for both Queenslanders and tourists. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at Ekka, making it a completely unique event.