Canterbury A&P farm show

Charlotte’s teacher decided this year to take the class to the Canterbury A&P farm show to learn about animals, farming, machinery, and to generally have a good time engaging with one of the largest community events each year in Christchurch.

I volunteered a few weeks ago to go on this trip because I rarely get to spend a whole day with Charlotte. I was a bit apprehensive about guiding 6 kids through such a large and busy event (attendance was in the thousands for the day).

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In line for entry to the show

I should have known better. The 6 girls in Charlotte’s group had drafted a plan for the day using a large paper map of the fairgrounds and a green highlighter. All of the areas they wanted to visit were highlighted and they had drawn a visiting path with arrows. The day would turn out to be very easy for me — just follow and make sure there was no conflict.

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Sheep, dog, and owner guiding the crew through a herding competition

First up were a bunch of small trade show vendors for various goods and services including helicopters, landscaping, outdoors and tents, and wooden furniture. The girls liked these but were more interested in the animals and quickly scooted to the sheep herding competition.

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Charlotte points out the horse she visited with.

Second up was morning tea while watching some of the fancier show horses.

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Petting a lamb

The city farm group was at the top of the list for things to see for all of the girls. After strolling through the inside show animals and marveling at giant sheep, tiny horses, and funny colored pigs, we entered the interactive part of the show where many children had congregated in pens set up with sheep, lambs, goats, chicks, and baby rabbits. All of the animals were accessible, and Charlotte was beside herself with excitement that she could hold them!

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Charlotte had a great time with her group of friends and towards the end of the day we stayed in the family fun area which had a small air bouncing area, a playground, and live entertainment. Overall it was a great day and I had many proud moments as a parent to see how well Charlotte treats her friends and how much she enjoyed having me with her.

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