Rival show rides, entertainment confirmed at Callaghan Park
A RIVAL event boasting rides, fireworks, and entertainment threatens to split Rockhampton Show-goers.
The Showman's Guild of Australaisa confirmed it will host the Funtime Festival Fantastic in conjunction with the Rockhampton Jockey Club on the same dates as the Rockhampton Show after negotiations broke down between the organisations.
Work is already underway at Callaghan Park to create the event, which is set to feature monster truck shows, live music, stunt shows, motocross and motorcycle action, plus a "mega sideshow alley” full of rides and activities.
There will be a nightly pyrotechnics show. Testing has been carried out to ensure it won't affect any horses stabled at Callaghan Park.
Guild president Luke Hennessy said the organisation did not want to derail Rockhampton Show, but members were already booked in to visit Rockhampton at this time of year.
He said their options were to host their own event or drive straight past town, depriving Rockhampton of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by the 80 to 100 businesses in the guild during their stay.
"The Showman's Guild and our members do country shows all the way up to Cairns and they're all pre booked,” Mr Hennessy said.
"Usually this week of the year we're in Rockhampton, we're supporting the town.
"We don't have another spare week to come from the other end of Queensland to come back here.”
Mr Hennessy hoped people would support both events, saying it remained a "hugely important” event on the calendar.
He said 2019 would be "a completely different year” and see the organisations negotiate again to bring the rides back to the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
However, a press release issued by the guild stated it was in negotiations with the Rockhampton Jockey Club "to seek a long-term contract at least for the next five years” to stage the event.
The guild has sourced local suppliers and estimates $260,000 has been spent on staging the event.
Funds will also be raised for Give Me 5 For Kids.
Last week, the Show Society said the commercial cattle competition would be reintroduced to the event next year in a bid to return it to its agricultural roots.
"In 2017 approximately 24,000 people attended the Rockhampton Agricultural Show and the Show Society hopes to maintain these numbers in 2018,” they said.