Ekka is Epic (December 16, 2013)

Sometime back in August, the whole state of Queensland had their Ekka festival. It's basically like a giant state fair back in the States, only with pop stars and fireworks. Intrigued, we jumped on the bus and headed off to Fortitude Valley.

Carinval/Rides

Once inside, there were all kinds of rides and games, typical fair afair.

Sights and Cool Stuff

We spent most of our time looking through a lot of cools stuff. There was a comedy show, a hypnotist, loads of booths, wine, food, beer, ballet, a fashion runway, and a magic show, just to name the ones I remember. We saw the same two people dressed up as giant characters a couple of times too.

Quilting Exhibit

I'm not usually someone who gets into quilting, but they had some pretty amazing pieces.

The Animal Barn

I think people from the city probably get a bigger kick out of the animal barn. The line to hold a chicken chick was ridiculously long. There were some cool things to see, including some animals native to Australia. We definitely missed some good picture opportunities, but oh well I guess. That's just your regular, run-of-the-mill duck in the first picture by the way.

Lego Exhibit

Apparently there is a ship made out of Legos that holds some kind of world record, and it happened to be at Ekka. I don't know that the picutres really do it justice, but I do like how Darth Vader is in the prison hold.

Agriculture and Crafts Barn

They apparently take their agriculture displays in Queensland very seriously. Farming and livestock make up a decent portion of the economy here, and it showed through at Ekka.

Rooftop Express Comedy Show

In addition to the comedy show earlier, there was one about Australian cowboys. It gets rather confusing being on the East coast and wanting to talk about Western culture as we know it in the States. It's kind of interesting to see how similar the cowboys in Australia are to the cowboys back home. I just thought it was pretty impressive that they got cows to climb on top of a cattle trailer, since I know from personal experience how challenging it can be just to get them to go through an open gate.

Ekka Ignites 360

By far the bet part of the experience was Ekka Ignites 360, the night show finale. Apparently in Queensland, they don't settle for fireworks, and they really pulled out the stops for this one. It opened with Ricki-Lee Coulter, a pop deva who grew up in Queensland and has several platinum songs, singing and dancing. Next there was a whole slew of awesome pyrotechnics, firebreathing, firedancing, sparks, fog, and other craziness. When they got tired of that they added water displays, fireworks, guys driving around on four wheelers, flaming kites, and lasers (it's not a proper festival in Australia without lasers).

Just when it couldn't get any better, a guy whith a working jetpack starts flying around for no apparent reason, and then Iron Man busts out an epic electic guitar solo on the megatron! That's right, Iron Man. All in all, it was a pretty ridiculous and awesome time.

For anyone that wants to check it out, someone posted a pretty decent video of Ekka Ignites 360 on youtube