It poured, but the show still went on
WHAT started out as one of the best shows Murwillumbah has ever seen, quickly turned into a soggy affair for hundreds of showgoers, officials and livestock owners on the weekend.
Minutes before the Murwillumbah Show's official opening on Saturday afternoon, the heavens opened up to rain cats and dogs - the only animals to not take part in a soggy grand parade.
Hundreds of spectators took shelter under cover to watch the parade, as flash-flooding swamped sideshow alley.
Lightning and thunder rocked the showgrounds, which along with the heavy rain sent some horse owners home with their valuable livestock shaking.
The downpour continued sporadically for much of the afternoon, scaring away what organisers had predicted would be record crowds.
Tweed River Agricultural Society president Jenny Glasby said the day had been set up to break records, with its diverse array of entertainment and free entry.
"Up to date it looked like it would have been a bumper year with the show entry numbers up and everything happening," she said.
"But it had a stormy trot in the afternoon."
Organisers almost called off the show when rain continued heavily until 3pm and the showgrounds sustained minor flooding, but soon after, show society secretary Ian Ross declared "the show must go on".
"Only one event was cancelled and that was a children's entertainment performance, everything else was just delayed a little," he said. "We have had five good years in a row. The track was not unsafe, it dried up and proved to be good.
"Some competitors did leave during the downpour, but that is understandable because some have very valuable horses. We were left with some great hardy animals."
Despite soggy competitors and spectators, the show finished on a high note on Saturday night with a double display of fireworks held over due to rain on Friday night. Show secretary Ian Ross said the display, put on jointly by the Showmen's Guild and Norco-Pauls, was one of the best ever. The rain held off for the duration of the spectacular display which was watched by hundreds of people.