No show for operators but novelty bags still up for sale
SHELLEY Pink-Easey has only missed one Fraser Coast Show in 47 years.
The Port Macquarie resident is fifth generation of The Pink Family travelling carnival operators who - over the last 100 years - have only ceased operation once during World War 2, where they retreated to a riverbank to survive.
The cancellation of all shows and carnivals around Queensland has turned the family operation upside down, with the Pinks' and their extended travelling family once again grounded.
The crew would usually be on the road for 11 months of the year, and the Fraser Coast Show would have been on their itinerary for May 21 and 22.
Shelley said although the lockdown had a major impact on the business, she was grateful for modern technology and necessities.
A luxury her forefathers weren't privileged to.
"When the war came, they just had to stop - much like now," she said.
"They stopped and there was nothing to do … they just had to live on the riverbank so they could survive by hunting down whatever they could catch to eat.
"It's made it much easier for me to realise about the modern facilities we have to survive it (COVID-19)."
Shelley said setting up at Maryborough Park would be sadly missed this year.
"It's a beautiful area and I think what I love about every show is the community.
"The community is what builds your show.
"The country people meet the city people and it just gives people the chance to come out and relax.
"We often see the people with cattle all come together and have barbecues and then go out and compete against each other; it's a wonderful thing."
While sideshow alley and Dagwood dogs are out this year, Shelley has some good news for Fraser Coast residents who still want their showbag fix this year.
Her partner, Gordon Richards, has taken his Showbag Warehouse business online, also incorporating some of the confectionary from her Showbag Factory range.
Gordon is also a veteran of the Fraser Coast Show, having set up his much-loved show bag stands for the last 40 years.
"The Fraser Coast show is one of our favourite times of the year," Gordon said.
"Kelly McBride who started working at this show with us three years ago is a local Butchulla lady and she (would usually) have time to catch up with family and sometimes we visit K'Gari.
"This is also the start of what we call the North run of shows that takes us all the way to Cairns and beyond.
"We are certainly going to miss not coming to the Fraser Coast show this year."
Gordon said showbags hold a special place in the heart of many Australians, so their range licenced and popular novelty and confectionery online showbags should hit the spot.
These include Frozen, The Wiggles, Emma, Toy Story, How To Train Your Dragon. Disney's latest Moana, Trolls, Batman, Spiderman, JoJo Siwa, Army bags, Swat to name just a few. "We are also doing a special online promotion … we are giving a free Bertie Beetle bag with each novelty bag purchased when you enter the word Bertie in our comment or note box."
Both Shelley and Gordon hope to be back bigger and better next year.
"COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on our business, as it has on every other business in Australia.
"We have had shows cancelled as far away as September and at this stage do not know when we may go back to work. "Like everyone we will take this in our stride and look forward to being back next year." Showbags can be bought online by visiting www.showbagwarehouse.com.au.