IT’S been more than 15 months since Agfest last graced Quercus Park and despite a winter of steady rain and the concerns around a field day later in the calendar year, the agricultural show that must go on started with a terrific turnout.
Much was made about the postponement of Agfest this year but the faithful farmers and Agfest aficionados turned out in force on the opening days of this year’s event.
Braving the mud and defying the weather forecasts, thousands came through the gate on Wednesday and Thursday, surprising even the event organisers.
Agfest chairman Caine Evans said his team was ‘quite shocked’ by the first-day turnout.
“It’s really good when you get a look up Main Street and you see so many people walking up and down, its heart-warming.”
“We weren’t expecting to break any records and we still aren’t but we’re hoping the crowd numbers are going to be strong over Friday and Saturday.”
“It’s surprising to have so many people here and eager to get through the gates.” Mud has always been part of the pre-winter Agfests but the soaking winter and recent rains that pounded Quercus Park in the meantime have kept the ground soft, something that is proving a challenge for the less offroad-inclined patrons.
“That mud has obviously been a bit of an issue in the carparks over the course of the first day, but we have been moving to fix that issue quickly,” Mr Evans said after the first day.
“Excavators are coming in overnight to try and fix the mud problems as soon as possible.
Obviously the weather has been something we’ve had to prepare for and there has been a bit of hesitation from some stallholders because of that.
“It’s also been so long since the last Agfest that you worry patrons may not make the trip here.
“But you can see that Tasmanians are here once more and they’re loving it. “Everyone has been stuck at home and been dealing with restrictions with what they can do for so long.
“Now finally we’ve had the restrictions fully lifted and everyone is out here, putting their boots back on, getting out and doing what they love to do.
“It’s so good to see that people haven’t forgotten what this week is all about,” Mr Evans said.
Tickets for the biggest field day in Tasmania are still available and can be purchased online at Agfest.com.au.
The Telstra Shop is also offering help to patrons who may need assistance with the online process. Tickets cannot be purchased at the gate.