Record crowds at 87th Wānaka A&P Show

Mar 11, 2024

More than 90 Jack Russells - and 44,000 people - went through the gates at this weekend's 87th agricultural and pastoral show in Wānaka.

The canine attendees were competing in a mad, four-legged dash to the finish line, with a 15-month-old Jack Russell from Southland taking out first place in the quirky race that's become a fixture on the show agenda since 1998.

Wānaka A&P Show general manager Jane Stalker says the race is "always entertaining to watch, as crowds line the main ring and passionately cheer on their favourite canine".

Jack Russells sprint for the finish line at the Wānaka A&P Show, Saturday, March 9, 2024 (Image: Supplied).

It was one of a line-up of events at the anticipated annual 'A&P' show, held across two days and known to be one of the South Island's largest.

Ms Stalker says, “The show also attracted some exceptional talent in the various livestock and rural competitions this year, which provides an opportunity to show non-rural folk the many wonderful aspects of New Zealand’s agricultural sector."

Headlining act the Topp Twins were in attendance, as well as Adam McGrath from the Eastern, singers Barry Saunders and Jackie Bristow, and entertainer Lieutenant Lou.

Ms Stalker says it was "fantastic" to see friends and family from around New Zealand come together at the event to create a "fun, vibrant buzz" and a "real community feel".

“We had families parked up watching the live entertainment acts, friends roaming around the trade stalls and scouting out the reimagined Rural Village area,” she says.

Young talent takes an axe to a log at the 2024 Wānaka A&P Show (Image: Supplied).

“Overall, it has been another sensational show, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who attended and helped to produce the event. We had more than 270 volunteers this year, which is fantastic.

“It’s always humbling reflecting on the incredible support every year.”

Main image (Supplied): The grand parade at the 87th Wānaka A&P Show, Saturday, March 9, 2024.

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