The Great Morobe Show Wimp-Out

50th Morobe Agricultural Show. Excitement! Suspense! Spectacle! Danger! Ample Parking!

Wait, forget the ample parking. That’s crazy talk.

The show is a dangerous time, we’re told. People get into Lae to see it, and then can’t afford  get home again without robbing someone. Also, crowds are always a major ingredient in the recipe for trouble, here.

So we decided on a plan of action that went like this:

  • Go on Saturday morning when there’s “hardly anyone” there, stay for a few hours, then leave.
  • Go back on Sunday to take photographs of the sing-sing, then leave after fifteen minutes with a memory card full of goodies.

Well, we only achieved part A of this plan. We did go on Saturday and it was hot and throngy and rather alarming and we bought some garden beds made out of tyres, had an icecream and a go on the slide, and then left again feeling like we’d done our bit.

On the Sunday, the sing-sing was on. All the different dance groups in the region come to do their thing. One of the best shows in the country. A major highlight, a spectacular photo opportunity. Could we do it? We thought so…

Problem was, we didn’t want to get down too early and sit around in the stalls fainting from heat, with people eyeing off our camera, so we left it til midday, hoping there’d still be room for us.

This was an error. Even the Gold Pass carpark was absolutely full and the crowd outside was totally crazy. They open the gates at 3 to let the public in for free, but even by middday there were huge throngs of people everywhere outside, drinking hooch and spitting buiai and surging about, and there were rocks all over the ground people had put there for ammunition later in the day when the fights started. So…

!e wussed out and drove away, unable to even find a parking space. Took us about twenty minutes just to turn the car around.

Then we put on nice clothes and drove to a restaurant and ate lamb shanks, which were delicious.

Basically, we ain’t tough enough to go to the Morobe Show on the Sunday just yet. Next year we might give it another try once we know how to get a parking spot. Or, maybe we can just look at pictures that other people put on the internet.

Because as I always like to say…


Here are some shots I took on the Saturday, mostly of the local ‘Belle of the Ball’ entrants they had. Not sure what the guy was doing there. And yes, those are whole preserved birds in her hair.


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