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Royal National Agricultural Show Day Queensland in Australia

Quick Facts

The Royal National Agricultural (RNA) Show Day is usually held in Brisbane, the capital city of the state of Queensland, Australia, on second Wednesday in August. If there are five Wednesdays in August, it is held on third Wednesday.

Local names

NameLanguage
Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandEnglish
Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandGerman

Royal National Agricultural Show Day Queensland 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Royal National Agricultural Show Day Queensland 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
List of dates for other years

The Royal National Agricultural (RNA) Show Day is held in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, in Australia. It is usually on the second Wednesday of August except when there are five Wednesdays in August, when it is held on third Wednesday.

The holiday mainly affects people living in the Brisbane area, although other regions throughout the state have a similar holiday to the Ekka holiday for their local shows. This holiday is also known as the Royal Queensland Show holiday, the Exhibition holiday or the Ekka holiday.

Royal National Agricultural Show Day Queensland in Australia

Dagwood dogs, which are similar to corn dogs, are a popular treat during the Ekka holiday.

©iStockphoto.com/William Berry

What do people do?

Some people choose to spend the day relaxing at home, catching up with friends and family, or going to the movies. However many people throughout the state of Queensland, Australia, flock to the state’s capital city of Brisbane on this holiday to participate in the RNA show. Although only one day is allocated as a public holiday for the show, the event spans for more than a week, attracting more than 600,000 visitors, including tourists and people from other towns and cities in Australia and worldwide. Many people travelling from rural or regional areas of Queensland take a day off work or take their annual holiday leave for this occasion.

The RNA show, commonly known as the Ekka, features firework displays, a large sideshow alley with various games and amusement park rides, fashion parades, prize-winning animals, craft and food.  Other attractions include the show bag pavilion, where many show bags are sold featuring candy, toys, gadgets, food, and magazines.  Another highlight of the event is the grand parade.

Many towns, cities and shires throughout the rest of Queensland are allocated a holiday similar to the Ekka holiday to host their own local shows, which mirror the Ekka at a smaller scale, at different times of the year. The culmination of these shows is that many of the local show winners in various competitions compete at a state level at the Ekka. Statewide competitions at the Ekka include those for cattle breeds, show dogs, horses, sheep, and sheep dogs. The winners of their regional or local shows usually travel to Brisbane to compete in the Ekka show.

Public life

The RNA Show Day is a public holiday in the Brisbane area only. However, many regions in south-east Queensland have a day off for their local shows in the same week to coincide with the RNA Show Day. Schools are closed as are many businesses. Many businesses as well as state and local government employees in the Brisbane region have a day off. Extra public transport services, which include bus and train services, are offered to those travelling to and from the show on the day. Taxis may be busy, particularly in the evening when people travel home from the Ekka.

Background

The history of the show day started when a group of colonists met in Brisbane to form an agricultural and industrial association in 1875. The association aimed to promote and encourage Queensland’s agricultural and industrial development, as well as giving country and urban residents a chance to celebrate Queensland lifestyle. An inter-colonial exhibition was held from August 22-26, 1876, and proved to be a big success. A public holiday was declared and about 17,000 people attended the show on the opening day. At the time, Brisbane’s population was only about 22,000 people. The first “Royal” Show was held in 1921 and later on, the name of the show was shortened to “Ekka” indicating people’s affection for the show.

The Ekka has been held annually, with only two exceptions: when Brisbane suffered a Spanish influenza epidemic in 1919; and during World War II in 1942 when the show grounds were used as a staging depot for troops. Over the years, other regions in Queensland adopted their own annual show holidays, especially in south-east Queensland where the show holidays have been held in the same week as the Ekka holiday.

Symbols

Images associated with the Ekka show holiday feature: show bags filled with candy, especially the Bertie Beetle show bag, which has been an all-time favorite over the decades; firework displays; Dagwood dogs, a type of food similar to corn dogs; the sideshow alley; and the Ferris wheel.

Royal National Agricultural Show Day Queensland Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
WedAug 151990Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 141991Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 121992Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 111993Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 171994Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 161995Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 141996Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 131997Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 121998Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 111999Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 162000Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 152001Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 142002Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 132003Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 112004Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 172005Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 162006Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 152007Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 132008Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 122009Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 112010Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 172011Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 152012Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 142013Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 132014Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 122015Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 172016Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 162017Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 152018Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 142019Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland
WedAug 122020Royal National Agricultural Show Day QueenslandLocal holidayQueensland

Other holidays in August 2014 in Australia

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