Imagine success

February 09th, 2017
Imagine success
Country shows are a day when the community comes together to celebrate all that’s great about their town. But have you ever thought about the people behind the scenes who make it all possible?

This year the Uraidla Show was awarded South Australia Community Event of the Year during Australia Day celebrations, recognising the achievements of the new committee.

The closet rural show to the city, last year’s event was the biggest show in a decade with over 5,000 people through the gates.

President of the Uraidla Show Committee Damien Liebelt said one of the best things about the Uraidla Show is the involvement of local community groups.

The committee provided free sites for community groups to raise money for their own causes.

“There is a sense of ownership of the show by the community,” Damien said.

“Uraidla is weird sort of area – many of the surrounding villages and community in Basket Range don’t always feel a part of it.

“But a highlight of last year’s show was seeing all the community groups being involved in a successful show because it was in decline for a number of years.

“Anyone can participate in a country show, no matter what you do or what your hobby is, you can find something to participate in.”

There was plenty to see and do at last year’s show, including the largest poultry pavilion at a country show, a scarecrow competition, and an abundance of crafts, fruit, vegetables and cakes were entered for judging.

The Sustainability Fair is also held on the same day, featuring over 50 stalls dedicated to sustainable living and renewable energy.

This year’s 129th Uraidla Show will be held on Sunday, November 5 at the Uraidla Showgrounds, a change from the usual February date.

The new committee decided on the shift because of hot weather conditions and numerous sporting and arts events throughout February which were impacting attendance.

“When the new committee was coming in we weren’t welcomed by everyone,” Damien said.

“But Imagine Uraidla was among our biggest supporters and could see the potential of holding a country show that benefits the whole community.”

Founded in 2014, Imagine Uraidla is a community organisation aimed at revitalising the township, informing the community and supporting local events in Uraidla and surrounding towns.

The group helped provide volunteers, or ‘working bees’, for the show and assisted the show committee in various areas.

“Imagine Uraidla have been an absolute asset to our event and it wouldn’t have been possible without them,” Damien said.

As well as supporting and promoting events, Imagine Uraidla have been active in the rejuvenation of the main street, which is now filled with local artwork, wicking beds and pear trees.

The group of volunteers first came together in early 2014 when they noticed a low sense of community in the district.

During that time, there was no Uraidla pub, the local IGA was about to shut and the Summertown deli had closed.

“A group of us who would moan about the pub having closed and rather than sit around we thought we should do something about it,” Chairperson of Imagine Uraidla Melissa Bradley said.

“Ben Hopkins and James Parkin had the original idea and the first public meeting was held in March 2014 and attracted over 200 people – it drew people out of the woodwork.

“We knew that everyone was feeling the same way and we thought, ‘Okay, let’s get this moving and see what sort of momentum we can create.”

Since that first meeting, the group have worked tirelessly to create a vibrant main street and bring businesses back to the area.

“What we’ve done is help create an environment where there’s positive energy in the community for business and community connections,” Melissa said.

“I’ve lived here for around 17 years and I’ve grown up in country towns all my life.

“You’re basically living in a little village close to the city, but you could be a country town 300 kilometres away.

“There’s a strong active community feel and most people know each other and look out for each other’s children – it’s a unique and beautiful place to live.”

In the future Imagine Uraidla hopes to continue bringing the community together and supporting local events.

For more information about Imagine Uraidla and to sign up to their e-newsletter visit http://www.uraidla.com

Keep up to date with the Uraidla Show on their Facebook page ‘Uraidla and Summertown Country Show’ or visit http://www.uraidlashow.com


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