Fact File: Royal Adelaide Show

By / 1st of September, 2014

THE Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of South Australia is celebrating its 175th anniversary in forwarding the cause of primary industry in the state.

The Royal Adelaide Show is the embodiment of that effort. The longest running and largest community event in South Australia, the Royal Adelaide Show attracts hundreds of thousands of people to attend, and tens of thousands of agricultural and horticultural entries in to its contests.

Last year, 31,280 entries across 61 sections were received, including livestock such as cattle and sheep, produce such as vegetables, olive oil and cider, and talent, including wood chopping contests and more.

More than half a million people on average attend the show each year, drawn by the contests, as well as attractions such as rides, rollercoasters, show bag pavilions, fashion displays, speedway events and live entertainment.

This year, as a celebration of the Society's anniversary, the show will be running for ten full days rather than the typical nine.

On the final day, in honour of the Society's birthday, guests will be able to re-enter for a discounted price - as well as being treated to an extravagant fireworks display.

Any babies born in South Australia during the 2014 Show will also receive free entry to the Royal Adelaide Show for their entire life.

Established in 1839, the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of South Australia uses the Royal Adelaide Show to educate the public about rural products and encourage young people in their pursuit of agricultural education.

This year's Show will be held at the Wayville Showgrounds in Adelaide, South Australia from September 5 - September 14.

The Royal Adelaide Show

Key Events:

Feature breeds are an important part of the Show. This year it will be showcasing Bull Terriers and Welsh Corgis in the Dog section, Charolais beef cattle, Guernsey dairy cattle, Poll Dorset sheep, Large White pigs and Heritage Breeds in the Poultry & Pigeons.

Tinker-Tailor-Fashion Maker will showcase 175 years of fashion at the Show in celebration of the Society’s 175th anniversary.

The Main Arena in 2014 will host wood-chopping on the Main Arena, the return of Speedway to the Adelaide Showground, Monster Trucks and the amazing Rocketman, along with a nightly display of fireworks, this year synchronised to music.

In the Farm Expo the state will present a major display of work in South Australia’s regions, while the Department of Education’s Learning Centre will celebrate 30 years of being at the Show.

Also celebrating a milestone is the Exhibition Dairy, which turns 21 this year. A new addition to the Taste SA pavilion in 2014 is nightly beer and cider tastings, including winners from the Royal Adelaide Beer & Cider Awards.

  • The first Shows were held in the grounds of an Adelaide hotel, however by 1847 the events had moved to Botanic Park.
  • In 1853 the Society lobbies the Government to create a Botanic Garden in Adelaide. The delegation was successful and, by May 1854, the Botanic Garden was under way.
  • In 1867, after hosting the Duke of Edinburgh at its Show, the Society took the Royal prefix.
  • It spearheaded the development of the South Australian wine industry – in the 1860s, the Society provided advice, inaugurated the showing and judging of wines and established international links to create export markets.
  • By the 1870s, the Society’s annual Shows had grown to be the largest community events held in South Australia.
  • In the 1870s, the RA&HS lobbied for the establishment of an agricultural college and its members helped select the land. By 1885 Roseworthy Agricultural College was opened for students.
  • It pioneered the shipment of chilled horticultural produce to the United Kingdom and wine into Asia.
  • The first Royal Show at Wayville was held in 1925.
  • The Showgrounds were closed for the duration of the Second World War and used by the Department of Defence until 1947.