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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2010

"What do you think we'll see at the Easter Show today?" asked one Mum of her kids on the train to the Easter Show.

"Um... dogs? And sheep? And um... pigeons!" came the contemplative but excited response.

But no mention of ducks, and yet these three ducks stole the show for everyone. They wobbled past Suze and I along the road - we thought they were toys or puppets at first, their long necks swaying this way and that - until the camera-snapping crowd behind them made us realise these were real ducks, in pret-a-porter!

The ducks work it, baby

What was also heartwarming to see was the sheepdog both guiding and guarding the ducks from the crowd. A few whistles from the owner was all that was required to guarantee their safe passage through the streets and the gaggle of giggling onlookers.

Sheepdog guarding the ducks


The Easter Show? It's all about the animals and the food. A chance for city slicker kids to marvel at working animals whilst wrinkling their noses at the smell of poo, tip-toeing gingerly around the flattened cow pats with looks of genuine horror.

Brown Swiss cow

Sleeping cow

How to tell the difference between a dairy cow and a beef cow

Our favourite area is always the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome - the home of samples and the District Exhibits. We always make a stop at the glass cabinets filled with the intricate and detailed cake decorating finalists too.

Cheese toasties at the Coon cheese stand

Extra tasty Coon cheese toasted sandwich $2

Always a queue but the cheesy goodness was worth it.

It's a Holey Cow!
The Central District Display

Art feeds the mind, farmers feed the future: Central District Display

We liked the humourous approach with corn-ed beef, oh-moo-let and cow-bernet sauvignon.

Spices from Le' Spice

It was also great to meet the folk behind Le' Spice who ran a Freebie Friday spice hamper competition on Grab Your Fork. Thanks for the samples, guys!

Le' Spice spice rubs

Winner of the Great Backyard Pumpkin Challenge
weighing 255kg

BBQ ribs

There seemed to be a lot more "real food" choices on offer this year, with noodles, ribs, roast chicken and dumplings available. Suze, on the other hand, only had eyes for one thing.

Cheese on a stick $4

Cheese on a stick is one of those things that's so wrong and yet so good. Admittedly I didn't indulge this year - but watching Suze eat her way through two of these (somehow we forgot to stop for a third) was enough for me! I could smell the greasy sweetness of the cake-like batter and the gooey strands of molten cheese stretched on forever once you hit the middle.

Twisted Fries $9

I had my eye on savoury treats instead. The queue for the Twisted Fries was long so it had developed a curve. A quick consultation on the iPhone confirmed our suspicions - the fries had gone up $1 in price since last year. I skipped the cheese sauce ($1 extra) which was rather runny and salty from memory, and slathered it with fat trailing dollops of tomato sauce instead.

We scooted into the main arena extra early for the 12.20pm Robosaurus show. It was just as well, as we didn't even realise that the Robosaurus was preceded by the Toyota V6 HiLux Heroes at 12.05pm and the Showtime Yamaha Freestyle Motox at 12.10pm. We scored seats right against the balustrade and the arena was packed by 11.45am.

Toyota V6 HiLux Heroes

I'm not a petrol head but even I couldn't help but marvel at the precision driving and the 180 degree flick handbrake turns, eventually succumbing to the primordial appeal of revving engines.

Watching the utes tailgate each other - two of them driving backwards - was pretty awesome too.

We liked the dance of the utes, like synchronised swimming with grunt. Check out the video above.

Showtime Yamaha Freestyle Motox display
Superman trick

The motorcross tricks that followed prompted plenty of gasps from the crowd.

Backflip 360

And is it an Easter Show experience without watching the woodchopping? It's much more fun if you try to pick the winner before they start - sometimes brawn doesn't always triumph!


Devonshire tea at the CWA Tea Room $7

We made the mandatory stop at the CWA Tea Room for an afternoon tea of their famous scones. Handmade and baked all day by CWA volunteers, the scones are kept warm under teatowels, soft and fluffy pillows best slathered with jam and cream.

Mice and cheese

The cake decorating display is always a hive of activity -the entries get more and more detailed and intricate each year.

Peter Rabbit with produce from Mr McGregor's garden by Joan Belz


Easter bunny by Handi Mulyana

Flowers and doily - yes, all made with icing

Siu mai and dumplings in a bamboo steamer by Joanne Ong

Alice in Wonderland by Anna Maria Roche

Facebook addict pills by Annie Lo

It was quite telling to watch anyone everyone under 40 laugh heartily over the facebook addict pills. One twenty-something male expressd outrage that Annie didn't win anything - "How could she not win anything? I bet the judges don't even know what facebook is!" he grumbled with indignation.

Backyard swimming pool by Joanne Ong (second prize)

I think the backyard swimming pool cake was my favourite because of all the details. I love the snorkel, the thongs and tennis ball by the ladder and the fact there's a dressed pavlova on the picnic table for dessert!

Helium balloons and the ferris wheel

The easiest way to carry your giant Scooby Doo

Baked potato $7.95

We found ourselves still at the Show at 7pm and because I'm a big kid, I convinced Suze to stay back for the final Robosaurus show. Because it's just too cool and we may as well!

So we sat through the Toyota V6 HiLux Heroes and the Yamaha Freestyle Motox displays again, although admittedly longer versions of these shows are held for the night sessions.


And then more Robosaurus action. The darkness of the stadium made for a more threatening fire-breathing figure although the routine was much the same.

Robosaurus is hungry

Robosaurus finds his dinner

Robosaurus goes looking for dessert

Don't forget you can check out my photos and video of the daytime Robosaurus show on my post here.

Fireworks finale

Kaleidoscope colours of the amusement ride lights

The Sydney Royal Easter Show runs April 1-14, 2010 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

Grab Your Fork received a complimentary Show admission ticket courtesy of the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2010: Robosaurus Pictures and Video

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2009: The Cakes and District Displays
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2009: The Racing and Diving Pigs

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2007: The Animals
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2007: The Cakes
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2007: The Food
33 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/08/2010 02:06:00 am


  • At 4/08/2010 2:30 am, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    Easiest, sure. However, certainly not the most flattering way of carrying your giant Scooby Doo around.

    Nice work catching the action with the motorcycle backflip. Rather like the shot :)

  • At 4/08/2010 7:34 am, Anonymous Trissa said…

    The ducks are adorable! I would be scared though, I think my dogs might decide to have them for dinner! :)

  • At 4/08/2010 8:41 am, Blogger Shanks said…

    Awesome 360 bike shot - love it!!
    I know Jo Ong and have passed on your blog for her to read. It's her time entering the Easter Show comp and she's super stoked with her results. You can see her work at: http://thecupcakegallery.blogspot.com/

    Did you try the deep fried cheesecake?

  • At 4/08/2010 8:57 am, Anonymous Chocolatesuze said…

    Heh what about watching as a girl attempted unsucessfully to shove giant Kermit into a locker bwahaha and where's the dice you won!

  • At 4/08/2010 9:03 am, Blogger Lannae said…

    Those are some remarkable cakes! Which one won 1st prize? They should all get 1st prize! And my goodness, Robosaurus is definitely something big!

  • At 4/08/2010 9:58 am, Anonymous The Extra said…

    Mmmm, I'm slightly perturbed by ducks in dresses. We hunt them, we eat them, we use their feathers to keep us warm. Do we really have to dress them up like a character out of "Little Britain"? I mean, they're not chimps. Dignity For Ducks!

    Oh - and is that Jesus's face I can see in the Coon Cheese toasted sandwich?

  • At 4/08/2010 10:04 am, Anonymous Tina said…

    "greasy sweetness of the cake-like batter" - I didn't realise the outer was sweet... eww. I guess I won't be trying that...

  • At 4/08/2010 10:05 am, Anonymous billy@atablefortwo said…

    All I can think of is Peking duck.... hmm... hahahaha.

    The cake decoration is always a highlight for me. I agree with you the backyard cake is amazingly detailed!

  • At 4/08/2010 10:10 am, Blogger Brenda said…

    Prices sure have gone up quite a bit since the last time I went to the show....ok that was 3 years ago. It's an expensive day out, just as well it's only once a year : )
    Loved your photos of the motorbikes, great shot!

  • At 4/08/2010 10:13 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Hahaha so cute! I love their little hads. Sigh, I'm missing out on another year of the Easter show, but I'm only really sad that I'm missing out on those CWA scone, they looks so good!

  • At 4/08/2010 11:07 am, Anonymous Grace Lee said…

    Oh so now CRAVING for cheese on toast.... YUMMMO.

    P.S Hope you're well :)

  • At 4/08/2010 11:56 am, Blogger Simon Food Favourites said…

    cars acting like equestrian show horses. not what it used to be when it was back in moore park where they all drove into the middle of the oval crisscrossing at full speed. i'd love to see those ducks. so cute but perhaps the RSPCA might think differently ;-) my parents went yesterday and loved it. they really enjoyed the SideShow tent.

  • At 4/08/2010 1:15 pm, Anonymous Howard said…

    Damn how did I miss out on the ducks ? They look so cute haha. I was also surprised at the queue for toasted cheese sangers!

  • At 4/08/2010 1:56 pm, Blogger FFichiban said…

    Looking at all those (deep fried) foods I really want to gooooo!
    And those ducks are sure looking classy heh

  • At 4/08/2010 2:33 pm, Blogger Karen @ Citrus and Candy said…

    Oh I love those ducks!! Those Indian Runners are too adorable with their long skinny necks and skinny bodies. I use to have 3 as pets and they were hilarious.

    I go to the show every 2 years and this year is my off year :( It never bothered me... until I read your post and see all the photos of animals and food! Oh well, next year...

  • At 4/08/2010 3:19 pm, Blogger A cupcake or two said…

    I love the Easter Show. Its just so much fun. Cheese on a stick holy moly. That is probably as bad as the deep fried cheesecake ehehhe. Those ducks give me the creeps ehehehe.

  • At 4/08/2010 6:27 pm, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    How gorgeous are the little ducks. Man, I had no idea they had such long necks.

    Panther from work tried the cheese on a stick this year coz I rave about it so much. He said it was against nature!

  • At 4/08/2010 7:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought they were geese?

  • At 4/08/2010 7:20 pm, Anonymous Jimmy said…

    Ducks in costume? What did they clip their wings as well so they couldn't fly away? Disgraceful - glamorising animal cruelty is not cool, no matter how 'cute' it looks.

  • At 4/08/2010 9:00 pm, Anonymous Adrian @ Food Rehab said…

    I'd actually like to wear those twisted fried as a hat. Much like a beer hat so I can just munch on it throughout the day! hehe

    umm, check out those well dressed ducks! Awesome. They seem to like the limelight.

  • At 4/08/2010 10:37 pm, Anonymous Mark @ Cafe Campana said…

    I wonder where I can get a robosaurus from. It would be great in the Westfield carpark.

  • At 4/08/2010 10:43 pm, Anonymous Amy said…

    The pictures of the ducks are priceless! I haven't been to the Easter show in years. I always have a lot of fun running around like a kid and eating a million cheese sticks.

  • At 4/08/2010 11:36 pm, OpenID agrigirl said…

    Fabulous photos! I'm ready to eat the baked potato right now - perhaps without some of the sour cream. It looks like you really documented the show well.

  • At 4/09/2010 10:56 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    That sleeping cow is the most gorgeous thing ever, and makes me want to watch (the old animated version of) Charlotte's Web when I get home :)

    And I still like the Robosaurus more than the Easter Show food, but then again, I've never actually been there myself to taste any of it...

  • At 4/09/2010 4:22 pm, Anonymous lindsey clare said…

    great photos!

    and i agree, the swimming pool cake was probably my favourite too. so much detail! even little hard boiled eggs in the salad! loved it.

  • At 4/10/2010 8:47 am, Anonymous Trisha said…

    I loooove the ducks sooo cute and the first prize for the arts and crafts... wish I have that talent hehehe sadly no. The Easter show is always always about food and animals - and I agree!!!

  • At 4/10/2010 1:00 pm, Blogger Y said…

    Haha Robosaurus is hilarious! Thanks for sharing pictures :)

  • At 4/11/2010 2:35 am, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    The ducks are so cute!!

  • At 4/13/2010 3:20 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - Ah I think at the Easter Show anything goes! This is where you find deep-fried cheese on a stick remember? lol. And thanks :)

    Hi Trissa - This was a very well trained dog indeed. He was very good at keeping the ducks safe and the crowds at a safe distance!

    Hi Shanks - I had a look at Jo's site and wow, her decorating skills are amazing. I really loved her swimming pool entry. Alas we somehow missed the stand selling deep-fried cheesecake - needless to say we would've been in the queue in a shot!

    Hi Chocolatesuze - Haha yes, that was a golden photo opportunity lost! I didn't have a pic of me with my dice but luckily you published one on your post :)

    Hi Lannae - There were quite a few ribbons, all of them winning for different categories. I agree, they were all amazing and Robosaurus was quite a sight!

    Hi The Extra - Ha, well the ducks seemed quite happy but yes, I agree I was torn as to whether dressing them up was appropriate.

    Ack, an eBay opportunity lost!

    Hi Tina - It's slightly sweet. The cheese-on-a-stick is definitely not for the faint-hearted!

    Hi Billy - lol. I don't think you were the only one! The cakes seem to get better every year - I always love the ones with a food theme of course :)

    Hi Brenda - It is a big day out but thankfully only once a year. The motorbike stunts were great although I did wonder how many unbroken bones they had between them!

    Hi Stephcookie - The hats were very cute. I love the tradition of CWA scones at the Easter Show - the day isn't complete without them.

    Hi Grace Lee - Luckily cheese on toast is so easy to do. I always forget about its simple pleasures. I'm well but probably eating far too much :)

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - There was lots of criss-crossing too - quite hair-raising at times. Glad your parents enjoyed the show - we only caught a small glimpse of the Sideshow performance.

    Hi Howard - The ducks were only randomly roving around but yes, I was rather glad we caught them. I think the toasted sangers were probably the cheapest eat the show :)

    Hi FFichiban - It's not too late to go to the Show! And yes the ducks were better dressed than most patrons!

  • At 4/13/2010 3:21 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Karen - Ooh I'm impressed that you know what breed they are. I didn't realised you had ducks as pets before.

    You'll have to eat twice as much next year!

    Hi A Cupcake or Two - The Easter Show is all about being a kid again isn't it?

    Hi Veruca Salt - A shame your workmate didn't enjoy the cheese on a stick. It's all about being so bad it's dangerously good!

    Hi Anon - I'm pretty sure they were ducks but I'm happy to stand corrected.

    Hi Jimmy - I can't speak on behalf of the farmer that was looking after the ducks, but they looked well-looked after. It's a point worth considering though, so thanks for your comment.

    Hi Adrian - Ha, cos you wanna be a nacho nacho man? lol

    Hi Mark - lol. That would certainly get you a parking space although I'm not sure how you'd fit in a multi-level carpark!

    Hi Amy - I think everyone regresses to being a kid at the Easter Show :)

    Hi agrigirl - Thanks and glad you enjoyed the post. The baked potato was actually much-needed after a day of junkfood.

    Hi Hannah - The sleeping cow seemed very peaceful although I was wondering about the possibility of a sore neck! Hopefuly you'll get to the Easter Show next year? I think there's a cheese stick with your name on it!

    Hi Lindsey Clare - Oh yes little hard-boiled egg. I think I could have quite happily stared at that cake for hours :)

    Hi Trisha - Luckily we all have different talents, right? It was a long day but a fun one.

    Hi Y - The Robosaurus had us giggling non-stop at the start. Much hilarity and so reminiscent of a Simpsons episode!

    Hi Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! - The ducks certainly knew how to work it!

  • At 4/15/2010 12:35 am, Blogger Swee San said…

    Oh I miss Sydney's Royal Easter show alot !!! hope to go back there next year..

  • At 4/15/2010 10:12 am, Blogger Moses said…

    Helen, you called the Coon Cheese sandwiches Cheese Toasties! My husband is from Decatur, Illinois.. the whole town refers to those as Cheese Toasties -- a term I had never heard anywhere else before finding it in your blog! Grilled Cheese, Toasted Cheese..these are the names I know. How fun to find someone else who knows the joys of a CHEESE TOASTIE! Thanks!

  • At 4/19/2010 12:30 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Swee San - I am sure there are plenty of fantastic festivals where you are. It's always a case of "the grass is greener"? But yes, will be good if you can get to the Easter Show when you're next here!

    Hi Moses - I didn't realise that the phrase Cheese Toastie was so rarely used in the US :) Aussies like to shorten everything but I'm glad to hear the people of Illinois embrace the cheese toastie as much as we do!


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