The first Hawkesbury Agricultural Show was conducted at Clarendon in 1845. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald at that time described the 1845 show; it tells that Windsor was empty and the road from Windsor to Clarendon was filled with people on horseback, in carts and gigs or walking to the show. “Upwards of 3000” attended and they were served by a number of booths ‘seven of them publicans’.
The show was held in two adjoining paddocks with one for the ploughing match. Twenty-nine ploughs contested and the girls of the district gathered on every vantage point to watch the ploughmen.
The subsequent shows conducted between 1845 and 1848 were the result of an association between Penrith and the Hawkesbury Agricultural Association. Various shows and exhibitions were then held under different combinations of associations until 1879 when the present Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association was formed. The HDAA has continuously held an annual show at Clarendon ever since. The only exceptions were the show of 1919, which was not held because of the flu epidemic, and from 1941 to 1946 when the show ground was used to house troops.
The Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association shared the Hawkesbury Racecourse grounds from 1880 until 1986. These arrangements ceased when the show moved onto our present grounds, still at Clarendon, in 1987.
Entertainment and extreme action can always be found at the show but the real focus is always the district’s agricultural heritage. Over the years the show has maintained a high tradition in bringing local produce and livestock of the highest quality together for the view of all. The Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association is proud in being able to deliver an event that showcases the agricultural excellence of our District.
Live music, hosting both local and new talent is featured at our show. Our stage area features acts for the young as well as those not so young. They include local dance groups, concert bands, folk bands, pop bands and choirs. A special feature of the show is the Animal Nursery where show goers of all ages can experience a cross section of animals with a real ‘Hands On’ approach.
The Hawkesbury District Agricultural Show has something to suit all ages and one of the most popular events is the Grand Parade. A diverse array of livestock is exhibited together with machinery that features new and antique tractors. The Show also hosts a large collection of amusement rides and, in 2007 and 2008 the largest movable Ferris wheel in Australia was a major attraction.
The Hawkesbury District Agricultural Show has been classified as a Green Event by the Sydney Environmental Protection Authority.
The Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association is a not for profit organisation with a long and proud history together with a legacy that has been ingrained with our agricultural heritage. The HDAA is committed in providing a facility to improve the District’s agricultural standards and to celebrate achievement and excellence in agriculture through the means of competitions and events.