GLORIOUS spring weather and a host of new attractions brought record crowds to the 146th annual Ballarat Show over the long weekend.
Up to 25,000 people attended the three-day event, taking in a range of entertainment, activities and thrilling rides.
Event director Gerard Ballinger dubbed it “the best show on record”, coinciding with the best gate takings the show has ever had.
“I’d like to think that with the Ballarat Show, the public holiday is here to stay,” Mr Ballinger said about the ongoing debate over which day in November the Ballarat community should have off.
“For us the public holiday makes all the difference.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the debate, and the citizens of Ballarat are saying we support you.
“The show is a good strong community event and I think Ballarat needs these sorts of things, it makes the city feel warm and fuzzy.”
The 2012 show had a host of new attractions, along with old favourites like the wood chop, animal nursery and the fireworks spectacular.
But Mr Ballinger said the show was trying to cater to all ages and interests, with new additions like the youth pavilion.
It proved especially popular with teenagers and included performances by some of Ballarat’s best scooter and BMX riders.
“It’s all about having an event that the citizens of Ballarat want to get involved in,” Mr Ballinger said. “It’s a tried and true formula that works, we still have our regular items but it’s still different every year.”
This year there was more roving entertainment, meaning show-goers enjoyed a more inclusive environment.
Mr Ballinger said the show worked well with Ballarat because it was a regional city with a strong connection to the land.
The Ballarat Show followed another bumper spring events weekend, with record crowds recorded at SpringFest and the Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally.