Jamestown Show notches up impressive 150 years of hard fought community spirit

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In the mid-north community of South Australia the Jamestown Show is set to mark its sesqui-centenary with events planned throughout the year

There is no limit to the rich country exhibits, fun and excitement that the Jamestown Show will host over two days from Sunday 3 October until Monday 4 October 2021

If you want to witness the sheer determination and residence of a country show committee, take  a look at Jamestown in SA.

One of the premium sheep and wool shows to be run in South Australia, the Jamestown Show will run from Sunday 3 October until Monday 4 October 2021.

John Staker, a member of the Jamestown Show committee, said plans for community events to celebrate 150 years are top of the agenda for his local community.

“We are kicking off the year with a community cricket day,” he said.

The ‘Back to Belalie Cricket Bash’  will be held at 1pm on March 20 at the Victoria Park Oval in Jamestown.

“It will be great for old locals to come back together and catch up,” Staker said.

Jamestown farmers were running sheep since 1871, and today the Jamestown Sheep Market is a big drawcard for the town and hosts sheep sales where auctioneers pick out bids from sheep farmers and stock agents from all over the state

The day will boast more than just cricket, with an exposition for local farmers, market stalls, a BBQ and games for children also on offer.

This event will be followed by a major community celebration in November.

A book recording the history of the last 50 years in Jamestown is also being produced and is set to be launched at the November celebration.

Jamestown was first settled in 1871, as farmers from nearby districts arrived to sow their first crops.

The town’s initial growth was sensational. By 1881, just 10 years after its settlement, Jamestown’s population had reached 995.

Before long, a hospital, primary school, flour mill and stock selling yards had been established, making Jamestown one of the north’s capital cities by the turn of the century.

Today, Jamestown remains a vital service town for the area, even when other Mid North settlements have perished.

Looking over the town of Jamestown it is intertwined with the vibrant agriculture industry that it serves

Local farmer John Honan has lived in the district for 88 years and said Jamestown has also endured its fair share of hardship.

“The 1940 drought comes to mind, and then the 1941 floods which followed,” he said.

“The main street and all the shops completely flooded. People worked together, furiously, to put drains in.”

But 1941 was an anomaly, as the area more often endures complications resulting from a lack of water, not a surplus.

The Mid North regularly experiences extreme drought conditions, with farmers most recently struggling through their driest October on record in 2019.

The Jamestown Sheep Market was cancelled three months in a row in 2019 due to farms destocking, which limited traffic through the Jamestown township.

Now that life is back in the town, the planned celebrations are likely to draw huge levels of community interest.

Honan said it is lucky that Jamestown residents are “a pretty resilient crowd”.

The Jamestown Show will run from Sunday 3 October until Monday 4 October 2021. On site at Victoria Park, Kilmarnock Terrace Jamestown SA 5491.

For site exhibition opportunities call on tel: 0418 795 525, or 0429 641 027.

See the online application form at: Jamestown exhibition sites