First run in 1938, the Canungra Show is an important social event in the community and assists to bind the residents of the region together.
It is run and organised entirely by a small band of volunteers which in itself is an amazing achievement. This small but dedicated band of volunteers work throughout the year to put together one day of entertainment for the community.
In 1938, a group of Canungra locals came together to form the Canungra Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Society with a common goal of holding the first Canungra Show. A 440 yard ring had been erected in 1937 and a combined sports and show day held on 5 November that year, however the first Show was so enthusiastically supported by the community that a pavilion was built, dressing shed upgraded and members of the community rallied to assist in the running of the Show. Arthur Caswell, the founding President, was instrumental in getting this first show up and running and he remained President of the Society until 1954.
In 1939 the Show was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II and Australia's immediate involvement. Although the Show continued in 1940 and 1941, with profits shared between the Show Society and the Patriotic Funds, all Shows and sports were abandoned for the remainder of the war. In 1946, with the district beginning to recover from the ravages of the war years, another successful Show was held. Since then, the Shows have continued annually, although the events and entertainment have changed to reflect changes in the community.
Of course the Photography, Produce, Cookery, Art and Crafts displayed in the Fine Arts Pavilion remain a focal point of the Show. Competitors take great pride in their creations and these Sections are always well represented by the locals, giving people the opportunity to showcase talents which might otherwise be hidden at home!
One Section which caused a great deal of angst over the years was the Dogs and Pet Parade. In 1938 the Dog Section included fox terriers, greyhounds, Pomeranians, cattle dogs and kelpies and this Section continued to run until 1952. In 2016, dogs again featured in the very popular Flyball competition when the Show expanded into the neighbouring Moriarty Park.
A list of competitors and office bearers of the Show Society through the years reads as a 'who's who' of the district. Families such as the Corcoran's, Finches, Caswell's, Lawler's, Benstead's, Mahony's, Bradfield's, Moriarty's and Lawson's, to name a few (please don't be offended - we couldn't list everyone!) have been instrumental in keeping this great Australian tradition alive in Canungra over the years.
It is wonderful to see a mix of pioneering families and families newer to the district working tirelessly to bring the community the 80th Annual Canungra Show. A great indicator of the continued growth and success of the Show Society.
In the early years of the Show, the Cattle Sections were well contested, however the main focus was on dairy cattle: AIS, Jersey and later Guernseys, Friesians, Ayrshires. The Stud Beef Cattle Section was introduced in 1982, abandoned in 1997, but reintroduced for the 60th Anniversary of the Show in 1998. It remains a competitive Section to this day.
The Horse Sections have increased considerably with the growth of the Shire as an equine recreational hub. From miniatures to thoroughbreds, the Horse Sections are always popular and draw both local competitors and those from around South-East Queensland. In 2008, the Draught Horse and Plough Horse Categories have been phased out, replaced by a Heavy Horse Category but a myriad of breed classes have been introduced over the years including Appaloosas, Arabians and Australian Stock Horses.