When it comes to country character a rural show is something that quickly springs to mind.
And at a time when many are concerned with urbanisation – sub-division of rural properties into smaller lots, the dwindling number of farming businesses such as dairies and the increase in regional development – it is good to see such country traditions continue in the Southern Highlands.
In fact such traditional events are a key part of the Highlands calendar with three rural shows held in the region each year.
There is the Robertson Show now in its 134th, the Moss Vale Show marking its 132nd year in 2017 and the one that leads the way on the show scene calendar – the Bowral Show.
Now in its 89th year the Bowral Show is on again on January 14 and 15 and it would be fair to say that this is not your average show.
This event is popularly known as the Bowral Horse Show with a strong focus on equine events.
In fact it is recognised in the equine community for its extensive equestrian program and as a valuable qualifying path for the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
In particular it offers the chance to compete and qualify in a broader range of breed classes not always offered at other rural shows.
The quirkiness of this country attraction tends to be a common thread through the many activities on offer ensuring the Bowral Show has appeal with more than just the horse lovers in the community.
This is especially evident with the various pet events which have become almost as popular as the equine activities.
The pet show, which is a huge hit with youngsters, is clearly seeking special qualities with categories for the hairiest animal, longest tail, sleepiest animal, most unusual bird, pets with the longest and shortest ears and more.
If you have a dog with a spring in its step the the Dog High Jump could be right up your alley.
Meanwhile traditional rural show attractions such as pavilion displays and tasty treats are also on offer.
Held at the Bong Bong Picnic Race Course the Bowral Show is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the Highlands country life and a great family day out.
The show time fun will continue with the Robertson Show on March 10 and 11 and the Moss Vale Show on March 17 to 19.