THE Ballarat Show kicks off today, and for the Jones family it is an event they look forward to all year.
Although the show has come under fire from some parents who are concerned that it is too expensive, this Ballarat mum believes the show can be enjoyed without spending a cent after the entry fee.
The three-day event varies in cost, depending on which day you go.
Today is Family Day and entry costs $30 for a family ticket (two adults and three children between 5 and 15 years).
On Saturday and Sunday a family ticket will set you back $35 (two adults and three children from 5-15 years).
Otherwise tickets are as follows: adults $15, pensioners $10, children $7 (5-15 years) and children under five are free.
Sue Jones said she went to the show as a girl and has been going ever since.
“We are going today because we all have the public holiday off and it’s always cheaper on family day. Although, we were lucky this year because we won a family pass and five free ride passes,” Mrs Jones said.
The mum of three said it was about planning for the show and budgeting.
“I think the Ballarat Show can be affordable and if you only do it once a year and you plan for it, it’s fine.
“The kids do a have a limit on what they can spend at the show and we stick to it. My mum, the boys’ Nan, always comes to the show with us and it’s their treat to go together. We make the most of all the free events as well.”
Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society director Gerard Ballinger said the show was good value for money and a good family outing.
“There is something for everyone and if you don’t want to spend money at the show you can go as far as bringing a packed lunch to cut costs.
“There are over 100 free events and things to do at the show,” Mr Ballinger said.
Top free events at the Ballarat Show
Ballarat Finest BMX and scooter riders
Mini FMX demo
Australian Year of the Farmer Roadshow
Animal Wrangler comedy show
Dare Devil Dogs
Toot The Clown
Geoffrey Graham - Aussie entertainment
Black Snake Productions - snake and wildlife show
Fireworks spectacular on Saturday night
Victorian Showmen's Guild
Exhibition of paintings
Craft, art & cooking display
Information stands on cats
Cyclops toy display
Police display "The Bus"
Ballarat Historical Society display
Breaze organic vegetable comp and display
Model train display plus free kids' fun activities
Vintage engine display
Horse novelty racing events
Horse and ring events
CFA firefighting display
Milk separating display
Inglenook dairy display
Sheaf toss competition on Sunday
Goats on Sunday