Barossa tradition continues at the Tanunda Show

Tanunda Show Secretary, Debbie Miles and Pigeon Judge, Leith Jenkins in front of the revamped Show Hall ahead of the 107th Tanunda Show on March 14.

Final preparations for the 107th Tanunda Show are underway at the Tanunda Oval as the committee anticipates a successful event on March 14.

Debbie Miles, in her 32nd year as Show Secretary, said this year’s show is packed with all the usual entertainment that patrons know and love, as well as the return of the poultry and pigeon section after a three year hiatus.

The newly constructed ‘Rex Starick Pavilion’ which will host the pigeons and poultry is nearing completion, and Debbie is pleased to welcome back Royal Adelaide Show Legend pigeon judge, Leith Jenkins to Tanunda.

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“I feel very thrilled to be asked again to officiate judging in the new pavilion, after many years in the old pavilion hanging together with bits and pieces,” laughed Leith. 

“I’m very impressed with the new one, and it’s well deserved for the Tanunda Show and exhibitors.”

Of course the Rex Starick Pavilion isn’t the only upgrade show-goers will be experiencing this year, with the revamped show hall almost ready to welcome exhibits and patrons. 

And while the beeping of scissor lifts could still be heard echoing across the grounds last week, Debbie has been assured the hall will be ready come show day.

“The Barossa Council have been fantastic right from planning now to finishing,” she said.

“They’ve kept the show informed the whole way as things have progressed, they’ve conferred with us on different areas to see how it would impact us, so I very much appreciate that.”

Debbie moved into her office last week and is impressed by the new layout of the show hall.

“It’s very appealing, the way the layout  has changed is going to be very workable,” she said.

Once again animals will be a strong feature of the Tanunda Show.

“We get a lot of visitors from outside of the area that aren’t country people and they really do appreciate seeing the poultry, pigeons, horses, sheep and alpacas. In fact any animal is a delight for a child,” said Debbie.

Sideshows and an extended Kid’s Zone with free activities on the oval will also add to the day’s entertainment.  

With a long history of involvement with the Tanunda Show, Debbie and Leith reflected on some of the things that make it such a special event for the community.

“It’s a Barossa tradition,” said Debbie. 

“The first show was held in 1910 and that was on a Wednesday… everyone had to have a bath the night before to get dressed up and go to the show!”

While top hats and Sunday best are no longer required for a day out at the show, the community buzz still exists.

“Show day is always exciting to me,” said Debbie. 

“Once they open those doors when judging is finished, the rush of the people coming in and the excitement of the children saying, ‘come on grandma, I’ve won a prize!’ Just to see their name on a card, to be recognised that they’ve done well with whatever they’ve put in is really exciting.

“It’s show day, it’s always been really special.” 

“Country shows are part of family tradition,” added Leith.

“They’ve got to be looked after, that’s the bottom line.”