The forecast may have predicted rain, but the enthusiasm of Grafton Show President Rex Green and the determination of the Grafton Show Society to make the annual event a success in 2022 outshone the wet weather.
While crowd numbers were down compared to last year, organisers were still pleased with the attendance across the two-day event on May 6 and 7.
Many showgoers commented on the wonderful displays in the pavilions and acknowledged the hard-working volunteers who dedicated so much of their time behind the scenes to set up exhibits.
Chief Steward of the Pavilion, Yvonne Robards, said more than 300 entries had been received in the cooking sections this year, a huge increase from 2021.
Overall winner of the Open Section based on points was awarded to Major Cathryn Williamson from the Grafton Salvation Army.
A passionate supporter of the Grafton Show, Major Williamson won several categories in the cooking section.
Talia Duckworth was the overall winner of the Junior Section.
During the official opening of the 2022 Grafton Show on May 7, the grand parade assembled in the main arena as spectators crowded into the grandstand to escape the persistent rain.
“We hoped it would hold off, but unfortunately, we’ve got some more today,” Mr Green said.
Despite the wet conditions, Mr Green acknowledged the high number of exhibits in the 2022 Grafton Show, particularly in the beet cattle section.
“So many have come from the Northern Rivers where the recent floods have been devastating, and we also had a cracking line up of horses on Friday,” he said.
“It’s very good to see so many here despite the rain.”
Prior to the official opening of the 2022 Grafton Show by guest of honour Brian Badgery, former Grafton Showgirl Robyn Brown was presented with a life membership award.
Describing herself as lost for words, she revealed she had only missed one Grafton Show in 52 years due to Covid-19, and she was very humbled by the recognition.
As he declared the 2022 Grafton Show officially open, Mr Badgery said despite the unkind weather, he was very proud to see the event go ahead and to see showgoers enjoying themselves.
“The quality of exhibits in the pavilion is on par with the Royal Easter Show,” he said.
“This is a great event, it’s a pleasure to be here and to officially open the show.”
During the ceremony, Mr Green was also announced as the 2022 Man of the Show in recognition of his ongoing commitment to the local event and the many voluntary hours he dedicates to the Grafton Show Society.