Kingston Rodeo breathes new life into historic showgrounds

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the Kingston Showgrounds on Saturday January 13 for the Kingston Rodeo, an event that organiser and Kingston local Brandon May says has revitalised the underused but picturesque facility. 

Action at the 2017 Kingston Rode. Picture: Dylan Burns

Action at the 2017 Kingston Rode. Picture: Dylan Burns

Mr May said he prepared for 1500 people to attend the 2017 Kingston Rodeo, the first time the event had run, but was overwhelmed when 4500 revellers came through the gate. 

“The number of people that came last year was more than double my expectation,” Mr May said. 

“It was crazy.”

Mr May, a farmer who was born and raised in Kingston, said it was great to have a fun event for local farmers at the end of the harvest and for families at a time when many pubs in the area were closed for the holiday season. 

Live music begins at 1pm, with tunes from a local band, before the rodeo events kick off at 5pm. Food and drink, a bucking bull and jumping castle will be on offer throughout the event followed by the Iain Archibald Band on stage from 9pm. 

Mr May said the Kingston Showgrounds provided a picturesque setting for the rodeo activities and he hoped to see an increase in events held at the facility throughout the year. 

Kingston Show volunteers shared concerns in November that without new volunteers to take the lead, 2017 may have been the 150 year-old show’s last hurrah. As one of the major events at the Kingston Show grounds over the past century, many have expressed disappointment at the show’s dwindling size. 

Crowds watch the Iain Archibald Band at the 2017 Kingston Rodeo. Picture: Dylan Burns

Crowds watch the Iain Archibald Band at the 2017 Kingston Rodeo. Picture: Dylan Burns

READ MORE:

Kingston Agriculture Society has owned the showgrounds since the group’s inception in 1858. Since then, volunteers have maintained the four hectare area and buildings, including a heritage-listed grandstand, to ensure community use of the facilities can continue. 

Mr May said there was potential to hold events at the Kingston Showgrounds every month.

“It’s a beautiful facility and a shame it isn’t used as much as it can be,” he said. 

The facility has been used by the Dean and Newlyn Young Farmers, Kingston and District Pony Club and CFA in recent years. 

Visit https://www.facebook.com/Kingstonrodeo/ for Kingston Rodeo event details. 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: