Backward Glance - It’s show time again at Maleny!
  • Wednesday 23 May 2018

Every year around this time, Maleny Showgrounds becomes a hub of excitement when the locals and visitors come to town for the Maleny Agricultural Show. 

Over two days next week – Friday, June 1 and Saturday June 2 - Maleny Showgrounds will be the place to be.

The annual show has always been a time when you can still enjoy a great day out on a budget.

Local schools will participate, various exhibits will be showcased and school bands will perform.

There’s plenty of other highlights including sideshow alley, bands, livestock competitions, cooking and handicrafts, dance exhibitions, whip cracking, a ute muster and a talent contest.

Pack a picnic or visit the catering area where local groups offer freshly baked goods and a cup of tea.

Enjoy a dagwood dog, fairy floss and all the old-style fun of show bags.

The first Maleny Show was held on June 26 and 27, 1923.

During this period, facilities were sparse so the local ladies provided meals and refreshments from under a tent on the hill where the pavilion now stands.

Using plans supplied by the Caboolture Show Society, the community got to work and an industrial pavilion measuring 75ft by 35ft was built.

It was nearly complete for the second show on April 23 and 24, 1924.

Pioneer families such as Burnett, Hankinson, Bryce, Cork, Lawley, Skerman, Bonney, Gilmour, Walsh and many others have all played a part in establishing this country show with hard work and a strong communal work ethic. 

As they did in the past, the volunteers work from daylight until dark to bring this weekend of learning, friendship and fun to our Sunshine Coast community.

The old show pavilion was renovated and refurbished during 1987.

The hall renovations were the highlight for the Maleny Show that year as the then Landsborough Shire celebrated 75 years as a local government region.

The lush kikuyu grass pastures in Maleny have some of the best dairying areas in the region.

During the 1950s, the Maleny area had more than 300 dairy farms but by 1980 there were only 20.

They still produce some of the best milk you can find in shops and supermarkets and award-winning cheeses too.

Dairy products produced are based on Friesian and Guernsey herds, as well as goat and buffalo herds.

All are unique and delicious, winning prizes at some of Australia’s larger city shows.

Gone are the days when the cream and milk carriers with canvas-topped trucks picked up the local dairy produce from a small shed by the side of the road and delivered it to local factories.

These trucks were used for many other purposes before cars became more popular and affordable.

The truck would have planks placed across the back of the tray for seating. They could become a school bus or take locals to dances or the picture show at the School of Arts Hall. 

They might even be used to transport people to the local agricultural show.

During the week, the truck could transport cattle and pigs to the local cattle sales.

The Nambour Chronicle in 1925 described Maleny School of Arts Hall as “the finest community hall between Brisbane and Gympie”, but it was sadly destroyed by fire on May 25, 1951.

A “bucket brigade” was set up to try and douse the flames but to no avail.

There were no fire brigades in most country towns and unfortunately Maleny was no exception.

A new hall was built for the community in 1957.

Maleny Showground has one of the best horse arenas in South East Queensland and attracts both novice and champion show jumpers. 

This year there will be a wide variety of displays, livestock, exhibitions and competitions.

Don’t miss your chance to guess the weight of a fat bullock, which is a regular feature each year.

Because the region is renowned for lush pastures, the bullock always weighs a substantial amount.

The show is also an ideal time for the kids to come and learn about farm life and baby animals in the animal nursery which is open each day at 10am.

Traditionally Saturday’s woodchop competition attracts a big crowd to watch the axes and woodchips fly.

The main arena on Saturday evening will host the rodeo where thrills and spills will bring out the best of those who want to have a go.

On Saturday afternoon, the tug-of-war and a Gumboot Ironman Challenge will take place, as well as the drawcard Grand Parade. 

As the sun sets, the fireworks will provide a sparkling finale to another special experience in the great Australian tradition of agricultural shows.

Image caption 

Hero - Calf roping event at the 44th annual Maleny Show and Rodeo, May 1981

Image 1 - Bullock team negotiating Dunlop's Pinch on the Maleny-Landsborough Road at Bald Knob, ca 1908

Image 2 - Champion Friesian stud bull, ‘Phoebe’ owned by John Robert Pattemore of ‘Fairview’ at North Maleny, 1930

Image 3 - Looking eastward down Cedar Street towards Maple Street in Maleny, ca 1950s

Image 4 - Janet 'Jean' DIckson feeding Friesian calves near 'Mosman' on Pattemore's farm North Maleny, ca 1941

Image 5 -Manager and Butter Maker John Hope Skerman outside the first Maleny Butter Factory, Maple Street, Maleny, 1908

Image 6 - Wagon mounted milk tank at the Maleny Co-operative Dairy Association Ltd. Factory, Coral Street, Maleny, September 1960

Image 7 - Maleny Dairies’ world record Guernsey Cow, Belladonna, the cow produced an average of 50 litres of milk per day over a 300 day test 1994 

Image 8 - Maleny Show and side show alley next to Obi Obi Creek, Maleny, ca 1925