History

 

1836

The Colony of South Australia was settled by purchase of land from the South Australian Company.

1839

The South Australian Agricultural Society was formed - "for the advancement of agricultural and pastoral knowledge, and to promote the development of the natural resources of our noble Colony".

1840

The first Produce Show was held on 8 December in the yards of Fordham's Hotel, Grenfell Street. The exhibits were vegetables, cereals, cheese, wool and leather. The next Show was held in March 1841.

1843

The first Livestock Show was held on 20 October in Hindley Street. The first Ploughing Match was held on Dr Mayo's block at Thebarton - one of the ploughs was locally made.

1844-59

The Shows were staged in Botanic Park (between the present Zoo and Royal Adelaide Hospital sites).

1844

The Society organised and staged the first combined produce and livestock exhibition in a large marquee in Botanic Park. John Ridley's historic reaping machine, invented and manufactured in his Hindmarsh workshop and used successfully in 1843 was a feature exhibit at the Show. Local beer was exhibited for the first time.

1845

South Australian wine was exhibited for the first time. There were two classes and two exhibits.

1850-59

The annual Livestock Shows were held opposite the Newmarket Hotel.

1851

Samples of South Australian wheat were sent to compete in the great Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. One sample grown at Mt Barker won first prize "against the world".

1852

The Show was cancelled because of "Gold Mania" in Victoria.

1860

The Society had the use of the Colony's first Exhibition building for the Show for the first time. The building was completed at the end of 1859 at a cost of £2,000.

1867

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, visited the Colony and opened the Show. Prince Alfred accepted the role of Patron of the Society.

1871

Entries for the wine classes at the Show had increased to such an extent that a completely separate Wine Show had to be organised. There were 327 entries including some from New Zealand.

1890's

Electricity came to South Australia and transformed the Showground and the Jubilee Building. The oval and trotting track were floodlit and the night Shows became very popular.

1893

The first annual Pruning Match was staged at Mrs Holbrook's vineyard at Underdale. There were 23 competitors.

1895-1924

The Jubilee building on North Terrace, opposite the old site, became home for the Show until the move to Wayville in 1925

1901

The Society passes the 2,000 membership mark - the first Society in Australia to do so.

1919

The Jubilee Building and Showground is converted into a hospital and quarantine camp to cope with the massive European influenza epidemic that killed an estimated 21 million people (563 South Australians).

1923

The Autumn Show combined with the Spring Show leaving this as the annual exhibition of South Australia's endeavours.

1925

The Royal Adelaide Show moved to the current site in Wayville.

1926

It is thought that this was the year the first Sample Bags (Showbags) were given away.

1936

The Centennial Hall was built to commemorate South Australia's centenary year.

1939-46

The Showground is occupied by the Armed Forces for the duration of the Second World War as the mobilisation, training and subsequent demobilisation centre.

1964

The Heavy Horse Memorial Club opened.

1967

 The College of Arms granted the Society its armorial bearings (ensigns, arms, crest supporter and motto).

1969

Queen Elizabeth II confirmed the Society's entitlement to the "Royal" prefix.

1974

The Showground facilities and staff were used to assist the Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Government to handle the aftermath of Darwin's Cyclone Tracy disaster.

1980

The Wayville Pavilion was built.

1985

The RA&HS sets up their Archive collection.

1986

Speedway Motor Cycling was reintroduced after an absence of 53 years.

1987

The Jubilee Pavilion was erected with an area of 9,850 sqm.

1994

The Autumn Show recommenced - being called the Royal Autumn Show, then later the Royal Flower & Garden Festival.

1995

Ridley Convention & Exhibition Centre opened.

1995

The Royal Adelaide Show is awarded an SA Tourism award in the Most Significant Festivals and Local Events category and the Australia Day Award for Best Community Event in the Unley Council Area.

1997

The first Royal Farm Expo was staged, focussing on diversification in modern farming. A unique mix of educational seminars, workshops, commercial exhibits and demonstrations.

1998

The Government granted the Society with an extended lease of the Wayville site, for a further 50 years from 2012, providing use of the Adelaide Showground until at least the year 2062.

1999

Royal Farm Expo incorporated into the Royal Adelaide Show. Collaboration with "Gardens Alive" organisers to stage a combined Royal Autumn Gardens Alive flower and garden event from 2000 onwards.

2001

Royal Adelaide Show is awarded a SA Tourism Award of Distinction in the Major Events category.

2002

Establishment of Hamilton Boulevard and the extension of the Jubilee Pavilion which was opened by HRH The Duke of Endiburgh.

2003

The Adelaide Showground was named "Best Specialty Meeting Venue" by the Meetings Industry Association.

2005

A $2 million upgrade of the Kingsway was completed.  A total of over $30 million was spent on capital works in the ten years from 1996 - 2005.

2006

The Royal Adelaide Show receives the Australia Day Award for "Best Community Event" in the Unley Council area.

2006

The Royal Adelaide Show is added to Bank SA's Heritage Icon list.

2007

Demolition of the Centennial Hall and commencement of construction of the Goyder Pavilion

2008

The Adelaide Showground was awarded the Best Specialty meeting & Events venue in SA for 2007

2008

2009

Goyder Pavilion is officially opened on 18 August by Hon. Kate Ellis, MP.

The Adelaide Showground is declared an official power station.

2014

In 2014, the Society celebrated 175 years of being in the forefront of South Australia’s agricultural and horticultural interests, and staged its 239th Show, which is believed to be a world record.

 

If you are interested in additional information regading our Archives please click here to visit the Archives page.