After two years of cancellations, Brisbane Showgrounds will give the city a big winter taste of normality come August. Yes, the Royal Queensland Show, aka the Ekka, is finally set to make a comeback after its 2020 and 2021 events were scrapped due to the pandemic. Get ready for rides, show bags, giant vegetables, cute animals and Brissie’s favourite dessert: those coveted strawberry sundaes.
Since last year’s Ekka was ditched due to restrictions and lockdowns, this year’s has always been in the works, stretching across Saturday, August 6–Sunday, August 14. But that’s now just weeks away, and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has noted that even with COVID-19 cases rising in Queensland, it’s still set to proceed.
“I can’t see why it can’t go ahead if people follow the same thing about wearing masks indoors,” said the Premier on Saturday, July 16, after advising that it is now strongly encouraged that Queenslanders wear masks indoors.
If you’re feeling a bit rusty about the Ekka after the event’s hiatus, there’s a reason that it comes with its own midweek public holiday. Brisbanites are set free from work to rush to the Royal Queensland Show, fill themselves up with fried and sugary goodness, then brave the rides and gaze at the fireworks.
While this year’s day off falls on Wednesday, August 10, the Ekka still runs for its usual nine days. That means plenty of time to enjoy sideshows, animal competitions, cooking demonstrations, live music and more — patting pigs, crashing dodgems, throwing balls in a clown’s mouth for a prize and taking home all the Bertie Beetles you can eat all included.
More than 400 different types of show bags will be up for grabs, ranging in price from $2–125 each, and the evening Ekka Nites lineup will provide live performances when the sun goes down.
One big change for this year: you can only buy tickets online, and you have to nominate the day you’ll be attending when you purchase. This helps the RNA manage capacity, for obvious reasons.
First held in 1876, the Ekka has been held every year since except on four occasions: in 1919 due to the Spanish Flu, in 1942 courtesy of World War 11, and in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.
The 2022 Ekka is set to run between Saturday, August 6–Sunday, August 14. For more information, visit the show’s website.
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