Frocks, blokes and mowers at show

New attractions will join traditional favourites when the 96th Lake Hayes A and P Show returns to the Lake Hayes Pavilion and Show Ground tomorrow.

An estimated 4000 people attended the 2010 event where town meets country, but the organising committee is hoping for a bigger crowd in 2011, because this year's show does not clash with the Pub Charity Rugby Sevens tournament.

"We're bringing back a lot of traditional events, but we understand the Wakatipu basin is steering away from farming and sheep stations and towards lifestyle blocks and cash crops," committee member Hayley Tomes, of Arrow Junction, said.

"There is no other rural event in the area, so we're trying to keep this one alive."

The gates of the showground open at 7am, and the action will take place from 10am to 4pm.

The new Most Fabulous Frock competition, where women in their best dresses compete to win a $150 Decode voucher, will be judged at 11.30am.

The traditional Grand Parade, complete with pipe band, begins at noon.

A new Lawn Mower Sprint Race will start at 12.45pm.

A "blokes only" competition will take place in the pavilion, with men challenged to bake their favourite cakes, submit their finest home brew and arrange flowers.

The pavilion will also feature entries in the traditional home industry competitions, with the winners announced on stage outside the building at 1pm - just as the dog trials start.

The Two Fence Challenge, at 2pm, will feature showjumping with a difference. As each horse clears the jump, the bar will be raised. Riders will be eliminated one by one until a winner is found.

Comedian Te Radar, Shad the Clown, the Children's Pet Parade, the return of competitive sheep-shearing, the new Barbecue Cook Off and popular stalls by agricultural and pastoral businesses will complete the experience.

Miss Tomes said the show was a fun family day out.

"There's things for the guys, shopping for the ladies and lots of entertainment for the kids.

"What distinguishes us from other community events is our rural theme and our connection with animals. Dogs are welcome on leashes and children are encouraged to bring their pets."

• Adult entry costs $10 and admission for children is free.

MetService is forecasting sunshine and cloud, a maximum temperature of 25degC, a chance of rain and northwesterlies.