SHOW TIME: Fair coming to Ipswich for two weekends
AFTER COVID-19 wiped out local shows across the country this year, a travelling fair is coming to Ipswich this weekend.
The QLD State Fair will be set up at the Ipswich Turf Club for two weekends, offering rides, games and the usual show fare from Friday.
Fair spokesman Lewis Osborne said the operation had been running for about three months, starting in Jimboomba before heading to North Lakes, Robina and Helensvale.
“We decided to get off our butts and create something because we were sick of paying bills and not going anywhere,” he said.
Mr Osborne said they had gone the “full monty” to ensure visitors would be safe.
“We’ve got a lot of infection control certification,” he said.
“Our carnival meets all the proper requirements and is as safe as we can possibly make it to minimise the risk.
“We’ve got COVID marshalls.
“We’re monitoring the input and output of our patrons as the day goes on and we’re staying under the 1000 person mark. You’ve got a good steady flow in both directions.”
Mr Osborne said they’d been well received in other communities and were excited to get going in Ipswich this weekend.
There are about 500 people involved all up.
“All the ride operators are independent and so are the games operators as well,” he said.
“We’ve got the biggest fair around. We’ve got ferris wheels, we’ve got dodgems.
“We’ve got a good variety of attractions, ranging from kiddie rides to dagwood dogs.
“Everything you’d see at the show we’ve basically got it.
“Everybody is really appreciative and they walk home very happy. Watching the families and the children enjoy themselves is a wonderful thing.”
The fair will head up to Toowoomba next.
Mr Osborne, who has a long history in the show industry, said it had been a very difficult year.
He is the trustee of the Showmens Guild of Australasia and has been on the committee for more than 40 years.
The fair was born after COVID restrictions eased in Queensland.
“My wife is sixth generation,” he said.
“We go back a long way.
“My family on my wife’s side especially goes back to the beginning of time in amusements in this country.
“We did get Jobseeker back in March when it all began but you can imagine how many payments we have on our amusement rides. Some of the rides there are worth $1.5 million.
“We’re keeping our head above water and really appreciate everyone’s support.”
Entry is $2 and it will get going from 5pm until late on Friday.
It will be open from 11am until late on Saturday and Sunday and be open again from November 27-29.
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.