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Top Talent From Near And Far At 167th Royal Easter Show

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Top Talent From Near And Far At 167th Royal Easter Show

On from Thursday 1 to Monday 5 April in Auckland, this year's Royal Easter Show brings together the very best of town and country with top talent from around the country and further afield.

Direct from Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network are hot international shows Yo Gabba Gabba! I Like to Dance and BEN 10 Live: Omnitrix Overload. New to New Zealand and exclusive to the Royal Easter Show, fans can sing along with toy monsters Muno, Foofa, Plex, Todee and Brobee, and help BEN 10 as he fights wrongdoers and saves the world from evil forces.

See top Canadian and Kiwi lumberjacks battle it out in the Hauraki Battle of the Bushmen, with everything from chainsaw racing to hot saws and tree felling. World champion tree climber Stirling Hart and fellow Canadian David McCloud provide an extra dose of action climbing 60-foot poles with a free fall decent that will leave your hair standing on end. Representing the South Island is all-girl hip hop crew Origin. One of New Zealand's top teams, these Nelson teens - aged 14 to 17 - have a dynamic and powerful stage presence and will have your feet tapping with their pumping music and fast-paced choreography. From the Kaipara is Kahurangi Ki Kaipara, a similarly young kapahaka group aged 4 to 16 with a growing reputation against even much older and more established teams. Having performed for Prime Minister John Key amongst many others, the Ngati Whatua O Kaipara group are putting in the hard yards ahead of participating in the International Folklore Festival in Finland later this year.

Currently touring the country, RowBox is on the search for New Zealand's fastest rower. The truly virtual experience allows participants to experience racing on the 2010 World Rowing Championship course at Lake Karapiro, with prizes for competitors and celebrity races between various sports codes. Almost famous in New Zealand, loveable character and celebrity superstar Vinyl Burns is the king of improvisation and slapstick, and street entertainer Chris Davis's multiple talents include fire, dance, comedy and daring skill in the face of danger.

Competition will be razor sharp at this year's Royal Easter Show Shears competition with a top line-up of world-class shearers including world champ Paul Avery, runner up Johnny Kirkpatrick, David Fagan, Dean Ball, Digger Balme and 24 year-old Cam Ferguson who took the Golden Shears title from David Fagan several weeks ago.

While for genuine kiwi entertainment, you can't go past the shear entertainment value of Sheep N Show. A shearing show with a difference, MC Greg Clarke's blend of sheep, shearing and humour will have you in fits of laughter in this entertaining and informative show for all ages.

There's more animal action in the main arena with the Rough Riders Equestrian Stunt Team. Watch these skilled stunt riders as they perform breath-taking jumps, vaults, stunt fights and more.

Neighbouring Alexandra Park is the venue for the Royal Easter Show equestrian competition, with four days of breeds ranging from Arabian to Shetland Ponies and Miniature horses and new sections for standardbreds and show riding horses. A cute Clydesdale foal show also features in the main showgrounds on the Friday.

Spread over five days, the A&P displays and competitions include top breeding animals from throughout the North Island, with dairy and beef cattle, sheep, donkeys, rabbits, goats, poultry, alpacas and pigs, and junior cattle and pet lamb sections for kids.

And if that's not enough animals for you, Farm World offers kids of all ages the opportunity to get up close to farm animals with new interactive activities like learning how to milk a cow and make butter, bee keepers and fleece spinning. An egg-citing addition to this year's Farm World, the Omelette Guy also cooks up a storm of wise cracks and egg-cellent omelettes.

The famous Royal Easter Show Art Awards, New Zealand's largest art show, features hundreds of artworks from throughout New Zealand and on sale for the duration of the show. Other features of the Art Pavilion include the working artist displays, face painting by award winning Carmel McCormick and hands-on art activities for the kids. And back by popular demand are New Zealand's Got Talent finalist Chelsea Marriner and her Star Dogs, the Royal Easter Cat Show and the super-charged carnival with its rides and stalls.

If you're after something a little different to do this Easter or are a bit night owl, check out the Midnight Madness carnival special on Saturday 3 April. From 9pm to midnight you can go bananas on as many rides as you can handle for just $40 (service fees apply). With such a broad mix of action, animals, fun and entertainment on offer, it's not hard to see why the Royal Easter Show is one of New Zealand's most loved family events going back 167 years. Royal Easter Show representative Gaylene Ashton has some tips to help make the day a great success:

To make it even easier to enjoy the show and avoid the queues, you can now book your tickets for the Royal Easter Show through Ticketek www.ticketek.co.nz as well as the usual gate sales (service fees apply).

Arrive early to avoid the crowds. Programmes are available from the information kiosk with show times, a full schedule, map and everything else you need to know.

Drink plenty of water and eat to keep your energy levels up. As well as usual food stalls, there are plenty of healthy options available.

When: Thursday 1 to Monday 5 April, 9am-9pm (closes 6pm Monday). Carnival open until midnight Saturday.

Where: ASB Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, Auckland. Parking available in the adjacent Puriri Drive Football Fields. Cost: Royal Easter Show general admission (does not include carnival rides or Midnight Madness) is just $40 for a family of five, $18 adult, $12 senior citizen/student, $6 child and free for under 2s - service fees apply. A Midnight Madness pass is $40 for unlimited carnival rides between 9pm and midnight on Saturday 3 April - service fees apply. Tickets: Are available through Ticketek www.ticketek.co.nz or at the gates. Info: For more information, visit www.royaleastershow.co.nz or phone 09 638 9969.

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