It may be more than 140 years old, but the Australian Sheep and Wool Show is still on the cutting edge of food, fashion and agriculture.
The three-day event in regional Victoria is held between July 14 and 16, with 22,500 people expected to flock to the event.
You might be forgiven for thinking most attendees are sheep farmers and breeders, but the show has broad appeal.
The festival-like atmosphere features everything from yard dog trials to daily fashion parades, making it a drawcard for families and interstate visitors.
Held in the goldrush town of Bendigo, the Australian Sheep and Wool Show is the largest show of its type in the world. Up to 3000 sheep across more than 30 breeds are displayed, sold, shorn and entered into competitions.
There’s plenty to see, taste and touch with more than 350 stalls. There’s wool for knitters and crafters, hearty lamb meals and snacks, and when it comes to fashion, there’s everything from mittens to shawls, jumpers to beanies.
The Women of Wool series of events is increasingly popular. Last year’s Women of Wool luncheon, which was hosted by Catriona Rowntree and Bill Brownless, was a sell-out and there was standing room only at the twice-daily fashion parades.
The national woolcraft competition attracts skilled creators from across Australia with entries spanning wearable art to felted gowns.
The Bendigo Festival of Lamb is the place to find the ultimate sausage sizzle plus fine meats produced by hundreds of independent butchers.
They will be competing across six categories including traditional Australian beef or pork, poultry, Australian lamb, continental and gourmet. The titles such of Best Burger is also up for grabs.
As part of the celebrations of ‘the mighty Australian sheep’, the show hosts ram and supreme dorper sales.
Australia’s best Merinos will be on display with breeders in hot competition to take out the grand championship and $5000 in prize money along with it.
Shearing displays and competitions as well as dog trial competitions are part of the event. And this year also sees the return of the Stud Masters’ Muster networking event on July 14. Tickets cost $30 and include finger food and two drinks.