2018 Kingston Rodeo musters big crowds despite unfavourable weather

People traveled from far and wide to be part of the 2018 Kingston Rodeo. Picture: Victoria Stone-Meadows.
People traveled from far and wide to be part of the 2018 Kingston Rodeo. Picture: Victoria Stone-Meadows.

Thousands of people descended on the Kingston Showgrounds on Saturday to catch the action and excitement of the second Kingston Rodeo. 

Event that organiser and Kingston local Brandon May said he prepared for 1500 people to attend the 2017 Kingston Rodeo, the first time the event had run, but was overwhelmed when 4500 revellers came through the gate. 

“The number of people that came last year was more than double my expectation,” Mr May said. 

“It was crazy.”

Mr May, a farmer who was born and raised in Kingston, said it was great to have a fun event for local farmers at the end of the harvest and for families at a time when many pubs in the area were closed for the holiday season. 

The atmosphere at the event was electric with competitors and spectators getting a bang for their buck with top-shelf bull, bronco and barrel riders giving the completion everything they had. 

Competitors traveled from all corners of the country to compete at the rodeo and camping space was at a premium. 

Live music entertained the crowds until 1pm, with tunes from a local band, before the rodeo events kicked off at 5pm.

The unseasonably cold and wet weather did not deter spectators or competitors from enjoying the event and families were able to take advantage of the many kid’s activities on offer. 

Check out out gallery of photos from the event:

Food and drink, a bucking bull and jumping castle were also on offer throughout the event followed by the Iain Archibald Band on stage from 9pm. 

Mr May said the Kingston Showgrounds provided a picturesque setting for the rodeo activities and he hoped to see an increase in events held at the facility throughout the year. 

Kingston Show volunteers shared concerns in November that without new volunteers to take the lead, 2017 may have been the 150 year-old show’s last hurrah.

As one of the major events at the Kingston Show grounds over the past century, many have expressed disappointment at the show’s dwindling size. 

Locals are hopeful the rodeo will breath new life into the small town and give people a reason to come back and enjoy the charm Kingston has to offer outside of event times as well. 

Kingston Agriculture Society has owned the showgrounds since the group’s inception in 1858.

Since then, volunteers have maintained the four hectare area and buildings to ensure community use of the facilities can continue. 

“It’s a beautiful facility and a shame it isn’t used as much as it can be,” Mr May said. 

The facility has been used by the Dean and Newlyn Young Farmers, Kingston and District Pony Club and CFA in recent years.