Record Crowds Celebrate Auckland’s Easter Show
Record Crowds Celebrate Auckland’s Historic Coca-Cola Easter Show
The weather alternated between sunshine and thunder-storms, but nothing dampened the enthusiasm of Aucklanders who flocked to the Coca-Cola Easter Show in the largest numbers in years.
As fireworks lit up the sky to finish five big days of Easter entertainment, the gate counter topped 130,607 for the first time since its glory days of the 1990s when the Easter Show was the only game in town.
ASB Showgrounds CEO Mark Frankham said the show’s success was a huge endorsement of the management team’s decision to offer free entry for the first time in the show’s history.
“We’d quietly hoped to top 100,000, but to beat that target before midday on Monday was a huge achievement - overall 70,000 more than last year’s final count.”
An incredible Friday, with close to 38,000 people attending, set the trend for the weekend and despite at times dreadful weather, the crowds kept coming.
As well as the free gate for the first time, the event also boosted it’s well-loved features.
“We simply had more of everything,” Frankham says.
“We had more animals and features in the FarmWorld, more big thrill rides with the return of Mahon’s amusements, great entertainment including kids’ shows all weekend and the return of an old favourite, the Marketplace, with dozens of vendors selling all kinds of merchandise.
“In short, it was a huge event and we’ve heard that many people took advantage of the free entry to come back more than once to see the many features and entertainments on show,” says Frankham.
This year’s success turns around a period of decline for the show, and the decision to have a free gate was simple, Frankham says.
“People hate having to pay at the gate and then paying again to go on the rides. We used to spend so much money on marketing to justify the gate charge - in the end it was a no-brainer - spend less on marketing and ticketing and make it a free to enter.
“It was a fantastic result,” Frankham said.
“You can bet that this edition of the Coca-Cola Easter Show was the benchmark and a new model we’ll be building on for the future.
All details of the Coca-Cola Easter Show can be found at www.eastershow.co.nz