The spirit of the Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) will be kept alive this year with a reimagined version set to bring a taste of some of Ekka’s unique traditions, following the cancellation of Queensland’s largest event due to COVID-19.
More than two months in the making, Ekka 2020 Online presented by RACQ offers a 10-day program showcasing our farmers, competitions, traditions, animals, food, entertainment and agricultural education in an exciting and interactive format.
The public will also get a taste of the iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundaes and Dagwood Dogs with special drive through outlets operating at the Brisbane Showgrounds; pop up sites around Brisbane and the first ever Do It Yourself Ekka Strawberry Sundae packs.
RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou said while the show can’t go on in its normal format, Ekka 2020 Online is about paying tribute and homage to an event that has united more than 32 million Queenslanders from the country to the city since 1876.
“It will bring people together online to interact, educate, engage and share memories in a year that will go down in history,’’ he said.
“Only twice before in the Ekka’s 144-year history has the show been cancelled – in 1919 due to Spanish Influenza and in 1942 – due to World War 2.
“When we announced the cancellation of the show, we wanted to ensure people could still get a taste of the show not just through online engagement but also ensuring our iconic strawberry sundaes were available.”
Ten unique channels across ekka.com.au, social media platforms plus an XP Esports league city versus country Young Farmers Challenge will bring interactive content to life to entertain, educate, engage, and showcase the People’s Show.
From a virtual baby animal nursery streamed daily to fireworks to meeting our farmers to learning top tricks from some of Ekka’s most successful exhibitors, it will offer a smorgasbord of show staples.
Mr Christou said Ekka 2020 Online would also feature several competitions that have been modified due to COVID-19 plus offering an insight into how our competitors achieve the best of the best.
“Importantly it will continue to bridge the city / country divide by educating Queenslanders on the vital role agriculture plays in their everyday lives,’’ he said.
A special one-off fireworks display will take place on Ekka eve to signal the 10 days of Ekka 2020 Online kicking off and to thank Queenslanders for their amazing support this year. The Fullscreen Fireworks will be broadcast exclusively live on the Seven Network.
Join us for an online 10-day celebration of agriculture, tune in daily to see the animals, pop in for a sundae, learn from the best of the best and hear first-hand from farmers why agriculture is so important – from the food you eat to the clothes you wear. Ekka 2020 Online will run from August 7-16. Visit www.ekka.com.au
WHAT A SCOOP! – Get your Strawberry Sundae and Dagwood Dog fix!
There are numerous ways the public can get their iconic show food fix this year:
- Drive thru outlets at the Brisbane Showgrounds
- Special pop-up stalls around Brisbane
- King Street Pop-Up
- First ever Do it Yourself Strawberry Sundae packs
The drive through outlets at the Showgrounds and sundae pop-up sites scattered across Brisbane will operate at various times from August 7-16, allowing the public to get their hands on the traditional sundae and dagwood dog they know and love. Residents also have the option to create their own unique Ekka moment through the first ever Do it Yourself Packs (available in serves of 20 and 100) – perfect for the home, workplace, schools, or community groups. The kits will contain the unique fresh ingredients exclusively used to assemble the sundaes at the Ekka. This is a limited-edition promotion, first in first served, with pre-orders due by 23 July. To order visit www.thecommongood.org.au No matter what way the public choose to enjoy a taste of the iconic strawberry sundae this year, they’ll be helping to fund lifesaving medical research for The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation for The Common Good. All proceeds from the sundae have been supporting the foundation for 30 years and this year one of their projects is research into coronavirus and to develop treatments for the most vulnerable patients. Visit www.ekka.com.au for full opening times.
SHOWBAG CENTRAL – Ekka’s virtual marketplace – Almost 400 Ekka showbags will be available on the first ever virtual Ekka marketplace plus award-winning medal winners from our Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show (RQFWS) competitions. Designed to bring our valued Ekka retail exhibitors together with the public, the marketplace will feature a range of retailers who have exhibited at the show for years and the products the public love to buy at Ekka. Our online marketplace is a collection of show favourites and RQFWS award winners. Full of local makers and creators, we urge you to support your community and farmers by buying Australian owned and made products.
VIRTUAL BABY ANIMAL NURSERY – Join us for a virtual visit to the Baby Animal Nursery presented by RACQ! Although guests will be visiting us online, we aim to make them feel like they’re right here with us! Get up close and personal with our loveable farm animals and see what cheeky things they get up to!
FULLSCREEN FIREWORKS! – Historic Ekka eve fireworks exclusively live on the Seven Network
We’re kicking off Ekka 2020 with a firework spectacular bigger than ever before! Sit back, hit the ‘fullscreen’ button, and relax as the pyrotechnics wonders erupt live over your screen. Accompanied by a specially curated soundtrack, this is a chance for the whole family to gather round the campfire so to speak! Broadcast live on the Seven Network on August 6.
CHANNELLING CONTENT! – Ten channels over 10 days!
Tune in to the following channels on ekka.com.au to get your taste of Ekka 2020 Online:
- MEET A FARMER presented by Woolworths takes you into the lives of Queensland’s unspoken heroes – our farmers. A behind the scenes look at their everyday lives, we interview farmers about their passion for agriculture and Ekka memories.
- 360˚ BABY! presented by RACQ – Tune in daily to the Baby Animal Nursery.
- FULLSCREEN FIREWORKS – Broadcast exclusively live on the Seven Network.
- PAWS & CLAWS presented by Black Hawk. This series promises a rare glimpse behind the scenes of Queensland’s exclusive show dog and cat community. Join comedian and professional animal hugger Mel Buttle as she visits some of Queensland’s best breeders. We’ll be making it interactive, with breeders lined up to answer questions about popular breeds, and Mel on hand to get those exclusive scoops…
- BLUE RIBBON BAKING presented by Norco. Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked cakes or scones or biscuits or scrolls? Well, we don’t think any smell can beat that, so we are inviting the public on a mouth-watering journey of baking from scratch. In this series, step into the kitchen with our award-winning bakers as they show you the tips and tricks of baking medal-worthy treats.
- CHEF’S SPECIAL presented by AussieBeef.com.au World-class chef Sean Cummings and special guests will take you on a culinary journey celebrating Queensland produce. Learn first-hand how to choose the best ingredients, how to cook it and the best part… how to eat it!
- FREESTYLE MOTORCROSS presented by Ringers Western. We’re taking you behind the scenes of Ekka’s action-packed freestyle motocross show. Meet the dare devils who perform each year at Show and watch them practice their death-defying stunts in their own backyard.
- GREEN THUMBS UP presented by Seqwater. It’s true, gardeners know all the dirt. Join Claire Bickle, our resident green thumb, as she teaches you about nature, sustainability, growing your own patch of paradise and water-saving tips.
- HORSING AROUND presented by Racing Queensland. Quit stalling and step into a world like no other. We introduce you to Queensland breeders who live and breathe horses. Let them show you the 101 of horse care, breeds, and training.
- UNPLUGGED presented by Heritage Bank. Treat your ears to some insanely talented up-and-coming Queensland artists. Streamed live, our Unplugged acoustic sessions presented by Heritage Bank will be an up close and personal experience you won’t forget!
EKKA COMPETITIONS – Some of our beloved competitions are continuing this year despite the show cancellation:
- YOUNG FARMERS XP ESPORTS CUP presented by Arrow Energy
Ekka, with the support of Presenting Partner Arrow Energy, has teamed up with XP Esports to present Young Farmers XP Esports Cup: An Esports tournament championing agriculture for the younger generations. Over 2 days, 4 regional and 4 city schools will compete using the PC game Farming Simulator. An Esports extension of the Young Farmers Challenge shown at the Ekka, the Young Farmers XP Esports Cup is the first official Australian tournament for popular esports game Farming Simulator.
- PADDOCK TO PALATE presented by JBS The nation’s richest beef competition of its kind with almost $65,000 in prize money on offer is continuing as planned. This includes classes 37, 38, 40 & 39 (2019/20 Wagyu Challenge).
- LED STEER COMPETITION
The Led Steer Competition is running in a modified format, featuring only Hook classes (no Hoof). There’s double the prize money on offer – a total of more than $13,000 up for grabs. Judging will be carried out by qualified Aus-Meat chiller assessors on Wednesday 5 August.
- PRIME BEEF COMPETITION
The Prime Beef Competition is taking place in a new location this year. Judging and the prime beef sale will be held at Silverdale Saleyards in Queensland’s Scenic Rim on Thursday 6 August. The Prime Beef Competition classes include grain and pasture-fed and Japanese chiller trade, with more than $12,000 in prize money up for grabs.
- DIGITAL PHOTOGRPAHY COMPETITION
Those with an eye for photography can submit their work in the new Digital Photography Competition. It features seven classes, with most mirroring the classes available in last year’s Ekka Photography Competition. There is also a brand-new Ekka Memories class, judged by people’s choice. The competition also features a Student Photography class that recognises and rewards the next generation of passionate photographers. This is an online competition only (no prints will be accepted).
- BUSH POETRY COMPETITION
The Bush Poetry Competition is going online this year. Poets of all ages are invited to submit a recording of themselves performing their best original or favourite established poem showcasing the Australian way of life. The time limit is four minutes and there are both Open and School classes to enter.
- WOOL COMPETITION
The Wool Competition is taking place in a new location this year. Judging will be held at the Baynham Woolshed in Mitchell on Monday 20 July. The competition is open to fibre producers of skirted fleeces and features 10 classes covering both flock and stud.
- YOUNG JUDGES COMPETITION
The Young Judges Competition presented by Arrow Energy is moving online this year. It will feature classes in stud beef, led steer, dairy cattle, dairy goats, sheep, horses, and poultry. Each class will be made up of four animals, with still shots and videos taken of each animal. The young judges will view the images and videos and will then rank the animals from 1-4 based on criteria including their features and standing confirmation. The young judges will submit their ranking online, along with a maximum three-minute video outlining their reasoning for the order.
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