IT'S show time.
A crowd of smiling faces brightened the Ipswich Showgrounds yesterday, as thousands of people flocked through the gates for the opening day of the Ipswich Show.
The annual event, which began at the Churchill sale yards in 1873, celebrates is 140th anniversary this year.
For Wray Duncanson and Ken Booth, it had been 79 years since The QT first snapped them chomping on toffee apples at the Ipswich Show in 1934.
The siblings, now in their 80s, returned for the first time this year and took home some toffee apples - only this time for their grandchildren.
Mrs Duncanson, of Wishart, said coming back brought a flood of memories for the pair.
"Back then it was just a small country show," she said. "I couldn't believe how big the show was or how much Ipswich has grown," she said.
Handing out prizes at the laughing clown sideshow game was Leanne McNeish, who said she had worked at the show for 37 years.
"I was born and bred on the showgrounds," she said. "My dad joined at 16 years old. It's the buzz from this atmosphere keeps me alive... I love meeting the people who come along each year."
Among the other visitors yesterday was Delenn King whose ticket to the show was an early 13th birthday present from her parents. The Bremer State School student was spotted walking down sideshow alley, weighed down with bunch of show bags and a huge blue teddy bear.
"I won this at the $2 lucky ticket stall," she said pointing to the stuffed animal. "It's been such a fun day."
On the other side of the showgrounds, away from the amusement rides and sideshow attractions, crowds gathered at the centre arena to view the horse events.
Standing at the judges table, adorned in an elegant purple dress and matching hat was the Matron of the Show, Shirley Taylor.
Mrs Taylor said her title came with various duties at the show and one of them was to present the champion horses with their winning sashes.
The grandmother from Slacks Creek said she had visited the show in the past few years and always enjoyed herself each time.
The three-day event will continue across the weekend. Gates open at 9am.
- The first show was held on May 13, 1873 in Churchill;
- It moved to its present site on Warwick Road in 1877;
- Around 22,000 visitors attended the show last year.