Hunter businesses and agricultural suppliers are getting behind this year’s Tocal Field Days in record numbers.
With all exhibitor sites sold, this year there will be 332 exhibitors in attendance at the three-day event at the Tocal Agricultural Centre at Paterson from Friday 5 May to Sunday 7 May.
Major sponsors this year are Kentan Machinery, Farmers Warehouse, Hunter Valley Mahindra Nutrien Ag Solutions and the NSW Government’s Natural Resources Access Regulator.
Community partners include Slow Food Hunter Valley, Maitland Community Care Services, Hunter Local Land Services, Tocal Homestead, Vacy Public School, Kiwanis East Maitland and East Maitland Rotary Club.
Manager of Tocal Field Days, Charise Foulstone said it is great to see businesses getting behind the event. She said the event is set up to better the attendance of last year’s event, which had 21,000 attendees.
“With so many exhibitors, more family-friendly attractions, and the return of favourite activities we are planning for our biggest event yet,” Charise said.
“We are fortunate to have gained a $170,000 NSW Government Regional Events Acceleration Fund grant, which aims to support the social and economic recovery and prosperity of regional NSW.”
Australian singer-songwriter and 2023 Golden Guitar Awards Female Artist of the Year, Amber Lawrence will headline entertainment with a free concert on Saturday 6 May.
Celebrity Chef and powerhouse of pastry, Anna Ployviou will do live demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.
Charise said there will be more free kids’ entertainment, including pedal tractors and diggers to ride, a hands-on wildlife experience, a milking barn, poddy calf feeding, a fossil dig and scarecrow making.
“That’s in addition to Tocal favourites such as the piglet races, animal nursery, pony rides, motor bike, working dog and heavy horse demonstrations and the always popular billy boiling competition,” Charise said.
“We haven’t forgotten mum and dad with an improved Good Food and Wine area with an assortment of wine and gin tasting, boutique beers, live music, and gourmet food.
“There are more nursery exhibits with great ideas and advice for the garden, as well as art and craft displays.
“Once you have a ticket, almost all activities and competitions are free, making it an affordable day out for the family.”
Charise explained Tocal Field Days play an important role in connecting farmers with each other, suppliers and the community – showcasing the Hunter’s outstanding produce and farming sector.
“Tocal Field Days theme for 2023 is Agriculture is for Everyone highlighting the importance of agriculture in everyday lives,” Charise said.
“You don`t need to be from a rural background to take something away from the event.
“Local community groups also benefit from grants issued from the event’s proceeds – 12 groups shared $38,000 last year.
“We’re encouraging people to pre-book tickets online for easier and faster entry,” Charise said.
Parking is available at the event but a free park-and-ride shuttle bus from Maitland Railway Station will run every hour to make it easy for people to get to the event.