The Wanaka A&P Show, scheduled for March 12 and 13, is recognised as one of New Zealand’s largest agricultural and pastoral events, attracting more than 40,000 people to Wanaka each year for two days of activities and entertainment which unite urban and rural communities.
In its 84th year the show, held at the Wanaka Showgrounds, is a significant event for the Southern Lakes and provides more than $11 million worth of direct economic benefit to the local economy annually.
Event manager Jane Stalker attributes the show’s unwavering success to the right mix of agricultural features such as equestrian and livestock events, combined with more than 500 food and trade stalls and high-quality entertainment in the form of music, comedy and cooking demonstrations. The family-friendly show also caters to young children with classic carnival rides, captivating stage shows and designated play zones.
“Throughout the years the Wanaka Show has remained true to its farming roots and a lot of people attend the event to get a glimpse of rural life,” she says. “But it’s also much more than a traditional A&P show – it is a celebration with a focus on getting the entire Upper Clutha community together. That’s why we are always very conscious about providing outstanding entertainment and activities for people of all ages to enjoy.”
There is a jam-packed programme for 2021 including one of the most popular drawcards, the K9 Natural Jack Russell Race. Two novel public competitions have been added to the programme – the Produce a Patch vege-growing challenge and The Runway which is a wearable arts display.
“One of the great things about the Wanaka Show is that every year is different in terms of the wide range of activities, the fresh new stalls and new entertainers and performers,” says Jane. “We are very excited about the 2021 event, which we hope will further strengthen the amazing community spirit of the Upper Clutha after a particularly challenging 2020. It’s an opportunity for the people of this region to get together and have some fun.”
Two new community competitions are debuting at the 2021 Wanaka A&P Show – the Produce a Patch vege-growing challenge and The Runway, a creative wearable arts competition which culminates in a fashion show at the event on March 12 and 13.
Families from all over the Upper Clutha have been tending to vege gardens over spring and summer to participate in the inaugural Produce a Patch competition, which is being judged on March 1 by Harvest Homegrown founder Erin Allison, gardening expert Liz Buggs and Ben Elms (aka Dr Compost). Celebrity gardener Lynda Hallinan will announce the winners at the Wanaka A&P Show two weeks later.
In The Runway: Art You Wear event art and fashion combine for the Wanaka A&P Show’s highly anticipated wearable arts competition and runway show. It is open to budding designers and original garments will be created from 100% sustainable and recycled materials. The entire collection will be showcased in a special catwalk event at the Upper Clutha Rugby Clubrooms.