The Ekka – it’s as reliable as clockwork. Rolling around each August, the Royal Queensland Show bursts into life in Brisbane.
In 2017, the show marks 140 years of bringing the country to the city. Over that time, more than 30 million people have passed through the gates!
But the Ekka’s been a hit with Queenslanders from the start. At the very first show, in 1876, five thousand people charged the turnstiles and mounted troopers had to be called in to quell the crowds.
And why is the show always held in August? Traditionally, it was the quietest month for people on the land – the harvest was done and shearing was yet to start. August was also the driest month of the year, so country dirt roads were easy to travel.
Ekka tradition continues to embraced in the 21st century. As part of the 140th celebrations, the public is invited to submit their personal photo memories of the Show to an on-line portal. There’ll also be a dedicated heritage display at this year’s Ekka and guided history tours through the showgrounds.
But there’s always something new to enjoy. In 2017, the Ekka introduces special Children’s Fireworks, starting at 6pm each evening: a gift to the countless families that have enjoyed the show over generations.
A special Twilight Ticket will also be available – allowing entry after 6pm. That means later closing hours for some of the Ekka’s foodie hotspots, including the ever-popular Steakhouse.
A big change over the Ekka’s 140 years has been the evolution of the showgrounds themselves.
King Street is the new face of the historical Bowen Hill site – a vibrant hotel, retail and residential precinct right on the Ekka’s doorstep.
Il Verde is part of King Street’s busy dining strip. The Italian restaurant offers a ‘wheel’ experience that might just rival the Show’s giant Ferris wheel!
“Take the Wheel” involves fresh pasta cooked at your table inside a giant wheel of aged Italian cheese. The meal deal costs just $45 per person and includes a welcome drink, entrée, the pasta main, a glass of wine and dessert.
As you can imagine, the experience has become a huge hit with cheesy pasta lovers across the city – so bookings are essential.
11th – 20th August