Bream Creek Show - the Real Thing in Community Hospitality
The words ‘authentic’ and ‘real’ sum up the essence of the Bream Creek Show experience.
For events to succeed they need local community support and a good strategic and cultural fit with the location. The event needs to be differentiated from others, have cooperative planning among key groups, longevity or tradition related to the place with strong business and media support.
Bream Creek Show, in its 111th year, has all these. The 2012 show was held on Saturday 17 March 2012.
It has something else as well that draws people back year after year. The generous warmth and hospitality that is offered by the local people of a distinct region is palpable.
It’s an annual get together that holds fast to its original purpose whilst welcoming new generations to experience the region. It’s a great way to show what the people of the region do.
It confirms what we instinctively know – that there is something good about the weather-beaten, the worn and the human that challenges and puts in context the all-consuming digitalisation of our lives.
The key to this feeling of welcoming hospitality is broad community support as Ray Taylor, President, Bream Creek Show committee explains.
“The show wouldn't exist without the local community pulling together. The committee is made up of hard working people who live around Bream Creek, Marion Bay, Kellevie and Dunalley. And this year the Nugent community got involved with the Animal Nursery upgrade, so we are seeing neighbouring communities coming together. And if community members aren't on the committee they are sure to be lending a hand on the day or entering exhibits in the huge hall of industries.
“The Sorell Council is hugely supportive. In the past we have received community council grants that have enabled us to upgrade our facilities, the latest being toilet additions. We have also been able to smarten up the kitchen and meeting room thanks to the council,” said Taylor.
Media Manager for the Show, Meg Bignell, says staying true to the essence of the origins of the concept, the motives of the initiators, is a powerful thing.
“The show began in 1886 and the purpose was to display and judge farm produce - to ‘show’. And still today, if no one wants to 'show', then we have no show!” said Bignell.
The excitement and hustle and bustle of the thousands that rocked-up this year, absorbing the sounds and smells of rural life, is testament to the loyalty of the current organisers in continuing to showcase what is described by a former president, Caroline Bignell as “A little country show with a big country heart.”
To close your eyes and hear the crack of bullock whips and the whack of sharpened axe-blades slicing wood almost transports you back through time to the late-19th or 20th centuries. These sounds mixed with the aromas of good, clean, fare - local homemade, slow-cooked, made-with-love food blended with the smell of sheep, cattle, horses and pigs, is what country life was all about.
Meg Bignell explains further, “This year we had a record crowd (around 8,000) and it could be that punters are seeking out wholesome family activities that don't thrust advertising in your face. It's well aligned with the farmers' market, slow food movement (even though it's highly likely much of the committee - particularly the older members - haven't noticed such a movement as they have always lived this way). And it's not expensive. You can come along and spend money on food and activities but there is heaps to do for free. And entry prices are low. Also, the showgrounds are compact and intimate. Things aren't too spread out which creates the wonderful, fairground atmosphere.”
These are big issues resolved through an understanding of the personal, intimate needs of human behaviour. The challenge is to create a real place with genuine hospitality, where human contact is the driving force of authenticity.
It’s all about giving more people more reasons to attend.
With that in mind plenty of reasons exist for you to show up in 2013.
Photos courtesy of Bream Creek Show.