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Royal Melbourne Show attracts 490,000 visitors

Royal Melbourne Show attracts 490,000 visitors
October 19, 2012

The 11 day Royal Melbourne Show, Victoria's largest annual community event, attracted close to 490,000 visitors up to its closure on 2nd October.

Organisers the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) say the event attracted strong crowds following record pre-event ticket sales, which were up 20% on 2011 figures, with a 30% increase in sales of the value Ticket to Ride package.

RASV Chief Executive Mark O'Sullivan said the Royal Melbourne Show is ingrained in the memories of thousands of Victorian families and remains a highlight of the Victorian school holidays, stating "now in its 157th year, the state's largest annual community event continues to innovate, bringing the very best of the country to the city for 11 days providing unique and memorable experiences that are interactive and educational to promote and celebrate agriculture.

"Victorians are incredibly passionate about the Royal Melbourne Show and the ambition for 2013 is to have the public holiday reinstated so that more people can take the opportunity to enjoy the event."

This year the Royal Melbourne Show employed approximately 8,000 people including 1,500 volunteers, with more than 480,000 hours spent creating the event.

Online, the Royal Melbourne Show site received more than 880,000 visits and 480,000 unique visitors during September, more than 12% increase on last year and there was a 35% increase Facebook 'likes' to over 53,000.

The opening weekend of the Royal Melbourne Show was dedicated to youth in agriculture and included the Australian Livestock and Property Agents (ALPA) Young Auctioneers Competition, Victorian Young Farmers' Challenge and Rural Ambassador Awards, won by Miss Kate Cross of the Horsham Agricultural Society and Natimuk A&P Society who represented the Wimmera region.

The Royal Melbourne Show this year boasted the largest exhibition of animals in Victoria when more than 800 beef cattle, 250 alpacas, 600 horses, 4,000 dogs and over 300 sheep and goats competed to win a prestigious blue ribbon with more than 15,000 competitive entries in total.

Thousands of patrons sampled award winning food and wine and cooking demonstrations from some of state's top chefs in the new Tastes of Victoria Pavilion, a dedicated area for foodies and lovers of speciality produce.

The Royal Melbourne Fine Food Deli remained popular, with more than 3,000 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Deli bags sold over 11 days. More than 1,300 glasses of award winning wine from the Royal Melbourne Wine Show were paired with some 400 award winning cheese plates.

The Royal Melbourne Show was again home to some of the most prestigious equine competitions in the country, including the 78th annual Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout which was won by Alex Berwick riding Xlerate, and the Showjumping World Cup Qualifier, which was taken out by Sam Williams.

New for 2012 was the 1,000 seat Entertainment Dome, which featured an array of international and local acts, including the Australian debut of comic daredevil and Golden Clown recipient, Bello Nock who attracted more 35,000 people to his 33 performances over 11 days.



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