Show shines amid rumours of ride malfunction
PERFECT weather, new technology and no clashing dates, all aligned to ensure a stellar turn-out at this year's Grafton Show.
After last year's takings being down $10,000 because of competing events, this year's offering saw the entry gates get plenty of traction throughout the two big days.
While the show team were still calculating final figures, long-time society president Rex Green said numbers were "definitely up on last year.
"We can tell this from walking around and looking at the number of people filling up the sideshow alley," Mr Green said.
"I've been doing this long enough to use that as a fairly reliable gauge."
Despite claims on social media of a possible ride malfunction involving the dislodgement of a carriage and alleged refunding of money to waiting patrons, Mr Green was "yet to hear about that one", but would certainly follow it up.
"We knew one of the major rides didn't operate at all because of computer problems, but there were no other issues as far as I'm aware. But I will put in a phone call about it," he said.
He said safety was taken extremely seriously by the society and Clarence Valley Council.
"Everyone is very safety conscious, especially since the Dreamworld incident," he said.
"All the major rides are inspected by (the) council before we start."
While a computer glitch might have shut down one of the carnival rides, technology also proved to be a boon to the society who embraced it this year with its ticketing options.
"It was the first time we sold them online. It worked very well for us. We sold around 700 tickets ahead of the event," Mr Green said.
He said not having to queue was probably a driving factor in its popularity.
"You could just scan your ticket and get through a lot quicker. It's definitely the way of the future," he said.
Of course tradition was still a huge part of the Grafton show and the reason many people came to the event year after year, according to Mr Green.
"We had reasonable pavilion entries considering the drought," he said.
"We also had the best horse entries on the North Coast show circuit.
"We didn't think we would but it was the best for quite a few years."
He said the cattle numbers were about the same as last year despite a competing stud sale at Casino, and the Outback Extravaganza in the main ring was "quite popular" with showgoers.
"We also had miniature goats for the first time and cats believe it or not. The cat show proved very popular," he said.
"This year was certainly one of our better shows. We had fine weather and really good attendance.
"Everything seemed to be in our favour across the two days."