The Upper Clutha A&P Show is the South Island’s second biggest and in my – admittedly biased opinion – the best.
It would be difficult to find a more picturesque place to hold a show than just over the road from Lake Wanaka and the second weekend in March usually guarantees good late summer/early autumn weather.
While some shows have been shrinking, Upper Clutha has grown, creeping further and further on to Brownston Park each year. It’s only a few years ago that the show had a couple of hundred exhibitors, this year there were 300.
That makes it big enough to have plenty to see and do without being so big you can’t see it all.
The show always attracts good numbers from throughout the lower South Island and further afield – we had a couple of French visitors with us – and numbers were boosted by Christchurch refugees.
The mood this year was particularly buoyant.
Farmers haven’t had a season like this with lamb, ewe, wool, beef, dairy, crop and forestry prices all up at the same time for years, if at all.
Usually farmer-to-farmer questions over the season get at least a few grumbles. This weekend while no-one was boasting, there was a quiet confidence in farming.
It’s not often that all the stars align for primary producers but it’s happening now. Farmers are happy and it showed at the show.