The Ekka is the annual agricultural show
Agricultural show
An agricultural show is a public event showcasing the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry. The largest comprise a livestock show , a trade fair, competitions, and entertainment...

 of Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Its formal title is the Royal Queensland Show. It was originally called the Brisbane Exhibition, however it is usually shortened to Ekka.


The first show, held between 22-26 August 1876 attracted 17,000 visitors. The show was a spin-off from the famous International Exhibitions being held in Britain and worldwide dating from the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851. During a time when the Ekka was still young, the main purpose of the agricultural show, as its name suggests, was to show off many agricultural and industrial exhibits. It was a chance for people to show off newly invented agricultural and industrial devices such as ultra modern plowing, sowing and harvesting artifacts. Cattle and other farm animals were also exhibited during the show, a practice that remains to this day, the animal nursery is still a place for children and adults alike to go and witness all the baby animals in all their glory. Since its opening, the show has only been cancelled twice, in 1919 throughout the time of the Spanish flu
Spanish flu
The 1918 flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic, and the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus . It was an unusually severe and deadly pandemic that spread across the world. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin...

 pandemic, during this time, the grounds were employed as temporary hospital wards for the sick, and in 1942, due to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...



The Ekka is held in Queensland's capital city, Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

, for ten days each August at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground
Brisbane Exhibition Ground
The Brisbane Exhibition Ground , is a showground established in Brisbane during 1875 especially for Ekka . The Exhibition ground is owned and operated by the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland...

. The Ekka is organised by the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA), and is held at the RNA Showgrounds in the inner-city suburb of Bowen Hills
Bowen Hills, Queensland
Bowen Hills is an inner suburb of Brisbane, Australia, located 3 km northeast of the Brisbane CBD. It was named after a Governor of Queensland, Sir George Ferguson Bowen.-History:...

 approximately two kilometres north-east of Brisbane's city centre. The Ekka is Brisbane's most popular event of any sort, with well over 600,000 visitors attending the show in recent years.


Attractions at the Ekka include fairground rides, a Side Show Alley
Sideshow alley
A sideshow alley is an Australian term for the cluster of attractions that may accompany public events such as agricultural shows. It is similar to the American term 'midway'...

, animal parades, woodchopping competitions, agricultural displays and equestrian
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 events. Showbag
The showbag is a themed bag of commercial merchandise, and a distinctive feature of Australian shows...

s, usually containing food items (such as confectionery
Confectionery is the set of food items that are rich in sugar, any one or type of which is called a confection. Modern usage may include substances rich in artificial sweeteners as well...

) and novelty items are sold in the Showbag Pavilion. The content of the showbags are tested to ensure they comply with safety standards. Side Show Alley in particular has been an integral part of the Ekka, however back in the earlier years of the Ekka, side show alley was a place for people to witness actual sideshows, such as freaks of nature, people carrying out superhuman feats of strength and illusionists performing for delighted audiences.

The showbag is a themed bag of commercial merchandise, and a distinctive feature of Australian shows...

s are also an integral part of the Ekka experience. Today there are almost 500 different showbags available for visitors to spend their money on and enjoy samples of products. Showbags range from $1 (the Blinky Bill Bag), $2 (the famous Bertie Beetle Bag) and up $50, providing companies the opportunity to show off their merchandise to the public.

The Ekka, due to its large attendance, raises a large amount of revenue. Estimates of this number average around the $
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

100 million mark, yet this amount may fluctuate with weather in Brisbane at the time (a particularly wet August may reduce attendance significantly).

Because of the cultural significance of the Ekka, the city of Brisbane holds a public holiday
Public holiday
A public holiday, national holiday or legal holiday is a holiday generally established by law and is usually a non-working day during the year....

 on the seventh show day which is known as "People's Day". People's Day is usually on the second Wednesday of August except when there are five Wednesdays in August, when it is held on the third Wednesday. School students are also involved in the entertainment of the Ekka, often schools organise excursions for students in their school band or choir where they perform and represent their school, one such including the Urban Upbeat Festival, which showcases school's musical ensembles. Other South East Queensland
South East Queensland
South East Queensland is a region of the state of Queensland in Australia, which contains approximately two-thirds of the state population...

 local government areas hold public holidays for the Ekka on the Monday or Tuesday (the 5th and 6th days).

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.