Everything you need to know about the 140th Mackay Show
WHEN the show first came to Mackay 140 years ago, it celebrated all things agricultural, pastoral and industrial.
But the show that will open its gates on Tuesday afternoon will be vastly different from the fairs of old, with hair-raising rides, superhuman feats, death-defying stunts and dizzyingly sugary treats.
Mackay Show Association secretary manager Steve Gavioli said this year would have a "great array of entertainment" over three days.
With hypnotists, magicians, musicians and extreme stunt performers, Mr Gavioli said "we've got an awful lot happening".
"This year we're shooting people out of cannons," he joked.
This year, the three days of entertainment will be squeezed into a slightly shorter show, with the gates opening only at 4pm on Tuesday.
Special guest, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, will officially open the Mackay Show on Tuesday.
Ms Palaszczuk said she was pleased to have been invited by the Mackay Show Society to open "such an important event in the Mackay calendar".
Mr Gavioli said the traditionally quieter Tuesday morning session had been sacrificed and the gates would now open at 4pm to coincide with the the time the Showmens Guild of Australasia rides started spinning.
He advised those looking to avoid the busy sessions to visit the show on Wednesday morning. To experience the full show atmosphere, he said, People's Day on Thursday, June 20 would draw the largest crowd.
"That's when the crowds build up from the moment the gates open," he said.
This year, Mr Gavioli said the show expected more than 30,000 people through the gates. The sale of pre-purchased tickets had reached record levels.
To prepare for the crowds, Mr Gavioli said additional "curley bells" or tiered seating had been installed to allow even bigger audiences at show favourites like the woodchopping.
Mackay Show entertainment manager Joel Bow said the traditions of the agricultural show would not be forgotten on the 140th anniversary.
He said traditional agricultural show favourites like woodchopping, show jumping and cattle and poultry judging "still reigned supreme" at the show.
"We've brought in the modern stuff, but also an homage to past fairs," he said.
With actors dressed in period costumes roaming through the grounds, Mr Bow said show visitors would be able to interact with the show's long and treasured history.
A celebration of beards through the ages, from bushranger's bristles to designer stubble will also attract audiences to the 500 Pavilion.
"The Mackay Show is no stranger to hair in weird places and we thought it was high time we celebrated beards in all their glory," Mr Bow said.
He encouraged everyone to visit the 500 Pavilion on Thursday at noon for the judging of Mackay's Best Beard.
On Wednesday at 7pm Mackay will also uncover the town's best tattoos at the So You Think You Got Ink competition.
As the schedule becomes packed with agricultural competitions, a rolling festival line-up of musicians and a circus of performers and entertainers, Mr Bow said the word for the show was going to be 'Spectacular'.
With so many attractions and large crowds, police are already cautioning parents to be keep a close eye on their little one's during the show.
Mackay Police Crime Prevention Unit Senior Constable Steve Smith said it was easy for children to get separated from their parents.
"With the assistance of members of the public and show staff themselves, children are always located," Snr Const Smith said.
But he advised parents to take a photo of their children in the clothes they were wearing on the day, so they could be easily described and identified if they become lost.
Dates and times
Tuesday, June 18: 4pm - 10pm
Wednesday, June 19: 9am - 10pm
Thursday, June 20: 9am - 4pm
Adult - $20.00
Child - $15.00
Family - $50.00