CROWDS flocked to the Millicent Showgrounds for the 141st annual Agricultural, Horticultural and Pastoral Society Millicent Show at the weekend.
Perfect spring weather attracted locals and visitors from across the South East and over the border to see Friday night’s dazzling fireworks display, the best in off-road motocross riders, jaw-dropping stunt pilot performances, a demolition derby and traditional show entertainment.
Millicent Show Society president Neville Copping hailed the three-day event a resounding success, while a Showmen’s Guild representative claimed it was “the best show of any in the South East”.
“We had at least 20pc more people through the gates this year and a much bigger crowd on Friday night compared to last year,” Mr Copping said.
“Three of the top 10 riders in Australia were competing, so people came from all over to watch the motocross.
“I was chatting to the Showmen’s Guild representative and he said the Millicent Show was the best country show of any in the South East in the last five years.”
The gates were opened to the public at midday on Friday following the judging of indoor exhibits.
“We were down on entries this year, but according to the judges the quality of entries was outstanding,” Mr Copping said.
“The photography was very impressive, as were the roses.”
Motocross riders hit the track at 3pm ahead of the first of two performances by stunt pilot Chris Sperou and an extravagant fireworks display.
Wide-eyed spectators were mesmerised by a second gravity-defying aerial display on Saturday afternoon as Mr Sperou tumbled through the sky in a bi-plane.
The 13-time Australian Aerobatic Champion prompted plenty of shocked gasps from a rapt audience.
“People from as far as Hamilton and Warrnambool travelled to watch Chris Sperou perform,” Mr Copping said.
“He is an absolute gentleman and his performance was incredible – he told me he is pretty certain he has performed at the Millicent show once before, but that it was 30 to 35 years ago.
“Saturday’s display was only the second time he has performed that routine and the first time in front of an audience.”
Mr Copping said traditional show events including the sheep shearing competition, cattle and poultry judging, show person competition and horse riding events were well attended.
“We had 200 horses competing on Sunday and more poultry and cattle displayed this year,” he said.
“Everything was well attended and ran very smoothly.”
Thrill-seekers explored a sideshow alley bustling with food vendors, games and rides, including dodgem cars, the Skydiver, Kamikaze and Alibaba.
Mr Copping said the variety of food and entertainment as well as a number of new initiatives were well received.
“We introduced the kid’s corner this year, which was a real hit – we had a lot of positive feedback about that,” he said.
“George the Farmer was on stage at the Millicent show for the very first time, which was great for young kids.
“We were very happy with the beautiful weather and with this year’s turnout, but we are always looking to improve and we hope it will be even bigger and better next year.”