Rocky gets in first to boost its gate

THERE is a Show-time showdown brewing between Rockhampton and Yeppoon.

Rockhampton City Council's decision to break with tradition and move its annual Show forward one week has upset Yeppoon Show organisers who feel their crowd numbers will suffer as a result.

The date change will place the Rockhampton Show (June 6-8, Wednesday to Thursday) before the Yeppoon Show (June 10-11, Saturday and Sunday) for the first time.

Yeppoon Show Society president Brian Dorey put on a brave face but admitted it would hurt.

He said showgoers had only so much money and some people who went to the Rockhampton event might not be able to afford another one, despite Yeppoon's cheap entry price of $7 for adults and $4 for kids and pensioners.

"It will be hard if they are running before us,'' he said.

"It won't send us broke but we might not do as well on the gate.''

This year 6200 people went to the 2005 Yeppoon Show paying about $20,000 in gate takings, which was slightly down from 2004 figures of 6500 and $23,000.

The Rockhampton Show suffered a bigger crowd downturn with 25,079 in 2005 compared with 33,732 in 2004.

The financial results are not yet available but it is expected to have run at a loss.

Its cause wasn't helped by wet weather on the opening day.

Rockhampton City Councillor Graeme Brady defended the date move, saying the council's responsibility was to make the Show viable.

"We are not out to ruin the Yeppoon Show,'' he said.

He said the council had changed dates to boost crowd numbers after problems with the traditional Show week.

People used the Queen's Birthday holiday and the Show holiday to exit the city.

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