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A Day at the Show (A Poem About a Day at a Travelling Fair or Carnival)

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded the "Best Poet 2014 and 2021" Hubby Awards.

Kingaroy Show 2014

Kingaroy Show 2014

The Travelling Fair, Carnival, or Show

A travelling carnival (US), usually simply called a carnival, or travelling funfair (UK), is an amusement show that can be made up of amusement rides, food vendors, merchandise vendors, games of chance and skill, thrill acts, and animal acts. Typical shows included menageries of wild animals, freak shows, waxworks, boxing/wrestling challenges, and theatrical shows.

These events are not set up at a permanent location, like an amusement park or funfair, but are moved from place to place. The roots are similar to the 19th-century circus with both being set up in open fields near or in town and moving to a new location after a period of time. In fact, many carnivals have circuses while others have a clown aesthetic in their decor.

Since the nineteenth century, Australia’s combined such fairs with agricultural shows providing, not just entertainment, but opportunities to reflect on the values and aspirations of our communities; celebrate achievements ranging from excellence in cattle breeding to the beauty of a delicate piece of embroidery, and enjoy a break from the routine of everyday life.

A place of work and leisure, education and entertainment, the annual agricultural show is an important event in hundreds of communities across Australia. Most Australian towns, both big and small boast permanent "showgrounds" where these events are held every year. (sources: Wikipedia; Australian Screen)

A Day at the Show

Gents and ladies gather 'round,

Because the show has come to town.

Ferris wheel and knock-em-downs,

Dodgem cars and side-show clowns.

Step up, step up, and have a go,

Every player wins you know.

Fairy floss and Dagwood dogs,

Skilful axe-men cut through logs.

Arts and crafts and food to judge,

One winner is the chocolate fudge.

A painting of our Prime Minister

Scroll to Continue

Wins 1st Prize, though looks quite sinister.

Jumping castle, carousel,

Test Dad's strength to ring the bell.

Punch and Judy puppet show

Attracting quite a steady flow.

A child is lost, says the loudspeaker,

He's four years old, named Toby Meeker.

Will Mr and Mrs Meeker please come

To the Info. tent to get your son!.

Food Stalls,/Kingaroy Show 2014

Food Stalls,/Kingaroy Show 2014

The rodeo attracts a crowd,

Excited watchers, cheering loud.

Many cowboys hit the dirt,

Luckily, not many hurt.

Chainsaw sculpture so precise

A bucking horse is worth the price.

Craftsmanship at highest level,

In such skill the people revel.

The farm machinery demonstration

Makes the crowd cheer in elation.

A tractor/draft horse tug of war,

Leaves the people wanting more.

All the livestock on display,

Kids get show bags to take away.

The roar of speedway fills the night,

And firework finale, a family delight

Some interesting inks.

One of My Favourite Australian Groups of All Time: The Seekers, singing The Carnival is Over.


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on March 09, 2015:

Thank you for reading daydreamer13, and for your generous comment. I so enjoyed the fun of the fair as a child.

daydreamer13 on March 09, 2015:

This was fun to read. Thank you. Well done!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on March 07, 2015:

Thanks for reading ps and for the angels, glad this was a trip down memory lane for you. Who can forget their very first fair?

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 07, 2015:

You made me feel as though I were right back at my very first fair ..the state fair in Richmond, Virginia. It was such a wonderful much to see and do and experience.

Thanks for the walk back down memory lane.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon Jodah ps

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 17, 2014:

So glad you enjoyed this teaches12345. If I can brighten anyone's day with my writing I am happy.

Dianna Mendez on May 17, 2014:

Oh how I love a day at the fair! YOu have brightened my day with your post. WEll done!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 11, 2014:

Thank you DDE for the vote up. Glad you enjoyed this hub.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 11, 2014:

A great day of fun and you said it so perfectly. Voted up, and useful

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 08, 2014:

Thank you Gypsy. I loved them as a child, but haven't been to one for many years...until last week.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on May 08, 2014:

Enjoyed this. I've always loved fairs and carnivals.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 08, 2014:

Thanks Genna, there's a big kid in many of us :). Glad you enjoyed this poem and the videos.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on May 08, 2014:

I looove carnivals and fairs. Seriously, though, my hubby teases me about being a “big kid” when it comes to these events. So I especially enjoyed your poems and videos. Just in time for spring and summer! :-)

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 07, 2014:

Thank you MsDora. Glad you had fun reading this.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 07, 2014:

Great, jolly details make the carnival true to life, even the lost child. Fun reading!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 07, 2014:

Thank you for reading Graham. I am glad I gave you a day at the fair. Judith Durham is one of the greatest singers I have heard in my lifetime.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 07, 2014:

Thank you Jo, your kind comments are always most welcome. I am glad this allowed you to travel back in time for a moment. yes, the Seekers were incredible. They did a final comeback tour at the end of last year.

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on May 07, 2014:

Hi Jodah. Tip top I was there for a day great stuff. You finish with the fabulous voice of Judith Durham, brilliant.


Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on May 07, 2014:

What a lovely trip back in time!! I remember the Seekers, Carnival is one of my favourites, beautiful song but I'd forgotten that they were Aussies. :)

Your poems are always incredible and these are right up there. Have a lovely day, my best to you.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Hi LaThing, glad this poem brought back some pleasant memeoties. Thanks for your kind comment, and vote up.

Thank you Dana. So happy this brought back those wonderful childhood memories. We all need to be able to revert back to being a kid now and then.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on May 06, 2014:

This has brought back so many wonderful memories of my youth. I loved the carnivals as a kid. I would eat cotton candy, ride the Ferris Wheel and play all the booth games until I lost all my money. Oh, the memories. Thanks Jodah for making me feel young again...if only for a moment.

LaThing from From a World Within, USA on May 06, 2014:

Wow, what imagery!! Brings back wonderful memories. Nicely done, Jodah. Voting up and awesome :)

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Hey Shauna, thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad this allowed you to stroll down memory lane. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Thank you Vellur, I am glad you enjoyed this poem.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 06, 2014:

It's been so long since I've been to a carnival or a rodeo! Your poems provided a nice visit to Memory Lane. You really are a very talented poet, Jodah!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 06, 2014:

Enjoyed your poem and had fun in the carnival!! Great write.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Thank you Blossom, much appreciated.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on May 06, 2014:

Lovely, cheery and descriptive poem - with all the fun of the fair.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

My pleasure to share this one with you Bobbi. Thank you for reading and commenting. Glad it brought back some nostalgia.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Thank you so much for that kind comment Alicia. I am glad this was a fun read for you. The Seekers were an amazing group, I would have liked to have chosen a more cheerful song but this one was appropriate.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Hi Faith, no need to apologise. Better late than never. I have so many hubs to comment on, but being away at the show for two days got me behind. I am glad you enjoyed this poem, the photos and the videos.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Thank you Nell, glad you enjoyed this one. Our show/fair is always around my birthday too, in this case just a couple of days before. Pity about the security at yours. I think I only saw two police in the whole two days at ours.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Hey Audrey, thanks for reading. I was trying to think of what Americans called 'fairy floss' and I just couldn't think. Thanks for reminding me it is 'cotton candy'.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Hi travmaj, I am glad it came over as lively and realistic. I don't know where the 'Tony Abbot' reference came from, just seemed to fit appropriately. Glad another Aussie read it to

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Thanks Jamie I appreciate your reading this and leaving a kind comment.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 06, 2014:

Thanks for the generous comment Ruby. Yes it was a fun day.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 05, 2014:

Thanks Frank. I had to be there with my wife working on a stall, so took the opportunity to take photos and write a poem.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 05, 2014:

Thanks Harishprasad, for another detailed comment. You always manage to read between the lines of my poetry. Yes the fair brings back memories of fun childhood experiences. Appreciate the vote up.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 05, 2014:

Thank you Kevin, for the kind comment, vote up and pin. Good to hear it made you want to attend the fair.

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on May 05, 2014:

Hi Jodah,

What a delightful time your poem took me back to our state fair, which was always such a fun day. I remember the cotton candy and every time I went to the Tampa Fair I bought Saltwater Taffy for my mother.

I loved your fireworks video--thanks for sharing this experience with us.

Bobbi Purvis

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 05, 2014:

This is such a cheerful and fun poem, Jodah. I enjoyed it! You created the atmosphere of a fair very well. I love The Seekers too, so I was very glad that you added a video of them singing.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on May 05, 2014:

I love the fair with all of its sights, sounds and healthy : ) food!!! We have a State Fair in October in the big city and a local one here in my county. You have captured the very essence of what the fair is all about here in your wonderful poem. I really loved The Seekers song and video and all of your photos.

I am sorry for being so late in commenting but my Internet has been down, but now back up and running!

Up and more and away

Blessings always

Nell Rose from England on May 05, 2014:

I love the fair! this is such a great poem! loved the way you did it, we have our fair in June, it was always on my birthday so that was a treat! they have changed the dates now, but its still great. Mind you, the security now is spoiling it, lots of coppers everywhere! anyone would think I lived in a gang town! its only a darn silly little village! lol!

Audrey Howitt from California on May 05, 2014:

I always loved going to the county fair when I was little--the smell of straw and eating cotton candy!

travmaj from australia on May 05, 2014:

The rhythm and rhyme of this piece really suit the subject. The fair - carnival so lively and accessible. Each stanza brought back many memories

As I read I felt I was there. Remembering show bags, ferris wheels, fairy floss and all. Oh yes, and Tony Abbot looking sinister! Good one.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on May 05, 2014:

Enjoyable to read and well written. Love the poem and the fair. Jamie

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 05, 2014:

This is a fun read. Your rhyming ability is excellent! I love to go to a fair or a carnival. I know your family had a good time...

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on May 05, 2014:

Jodah very creative and fun read

Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on May 05, 2014:

What a vivid picture of a fair ! As kids, how much we used to relish visiting the fairs ! John, you took me to my childhood when I read this beautiful poem. In those fairs, artists, magician, puppet shows, dancers, singers, swings, kiosks , foods and children all looked so wonderful and everything was so enjoyable and full of mirth. We, children used to wait for such fantastic fairs ( we call fair "mela " in Hindi ). Great poem, I enjoyed it thoroughly including the lovely song. Voted up.

The Examiner-1 on May 05, 2014:

Wow Jodah! That made want to go to the fair when I read that, plus after I saw the videos! You really caught it in the words though. Good job. Voted up and pinned.


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 05, 2014:

Thanks Kim. I'm glad I could help you relive some fond memories. This is the first one have attended in many years. I appreciate the vote up too.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on May 05, 2014:

There was a time when the carnival made its rounds. How I remember the tilt/twirl. I would ride it over and over. The carnival that came through was small and did not have all the events described in your poem; however, those events can be found at the State Fair...Thanks for taking me back to such a fun time. V+


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 05, 2014:

Jane(Lesley)...I got your name right this Thank you for reading this poem. I am glad you enjoyed it and it gave you a happy feeling. Yes, the good old them.

Jane Arden on May 05, 2014:

Brilliant. This poem was a happy one that got my happy endorphins flowing inside me, even with the 'missing child.' 'Tis all part of the 'fun of the fair.' It was a nice touch having the 'Seekers' video too. Talk about 'blast from the past.' :)

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 04, 2014:

Hi Phyllis, glad you found it a catchy bouncy poem. 'The Carnival is Over' is a sad song and was The Seekers farewell tune, but it is still wonderful.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on May 04, 2014:

I love this poem, Jodah. It bounces along just like a carnival show with all the excitement. I really enjoyed it and I like the Seekers song. I am listening to it now.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 04, 2014:

Thanks Jackie. I hope this brought back pleasant memories. Glad you enjoyed "The Seekers" song.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on May 04, 2014:

I always loved carnivals and fairs and it has been many years since I have been too. Thanks for the seekers song too; I had never heard it! ^+

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 04, 2014:

Thank you Bill, glad it seemed realistic enough that it got your senses working.

Thanks for reading bigj1969. I hadn't been to the show for 20 years, so it brought back memories for me too.

John Marshall from glasgow on May 04, 2014:

Great poem,very well written,brings back memories.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 04, 2014:

I could smell the cow poop and taste the corn dogs from here. Well done, John!

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