Zoe the Painproof Girl, The Space Cowboy and Gordo Gamsby get ready for the Norco North Coast National Show.
Zoe the Painproof Girl, The Space Cowboy and Gordo Gamsby get ready for the Norco North Coast National Show. The Northern Star

Lots of new additions for North Coast show

THERE is no bearded lady, but the freaks are definitely coming out for the Norco North Coast National Show this year.

Daisy and Maisy the two-headed calf, and Pickles the two-headed rooster, are among the amazing stuffed animals that will be a part of the Mutant Barnyard, the largest collection of mutant animals in the Southern Hemisphere.

It is just one of the many new things being added to the show this year, including a Sustainable Living Expo that organisers hope will reinvigorate the show and make it more relevant to the North Coast's changing demographic.

“It must be 25 years since it has been this full in terms of trade space,” said North Coast National A & I Society president John Gibson as he walked around the grounds yesterday afternoon.

Mr Gibson has been at the helm of the A & I Society for 21 years and said a lot of people had worked hard to bring the new elements to this year's show.

Byron Bay performer Chayne Hultgren, better known as The Space Cowboy, holds the world record for swallowing the most swords. When he was in Europe this year he swallowed 27 swords, each one with a flag representing the countries in the European Union. On Thursday night he plans to try and break that record as part of the Monster Sideshow.

Joining him on stage will be Zoe The Painproof Wonder and The Great Gordo Gamsby. In true freak show style there also will be a one-metre tall tap dancer called The Devine Miss Em.

On Friday and Saturday nights there is another show called Garnished, featuring contortionists, aerial acrobatics and angle grinders.

“The Cock and Bull (music and theatre stage) was very successful last year and people asked for more of that kind of thing,” Mr Gibson said.

“But we're running an agriculture and industry society and the sustainable living expo, which is so topical today, addresses that type of thing.”

The show society brought in consultant Phil Hanlon to help co-ordinate the sustainable living expo and expand the show.

“Patronage of regional shows in general has been in decline and a lot of regional shows have had to shut their doors,” Mr Hanlon said.

But Mr Gibson sees the Sustainable Living Expo as a natural extension of what agricultural shows have always been about.

“In 1885, when the first show was held in Lismore, they had a horse-drawn plough,” he said. “It's always been where new ideas are displayed.

“People came to see milking machines or tractors and things like that on display at shows.

“I don't see this step we're taking now as any different to that.”

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