TEENAGER Isaac Gates had an early start to his Kiama Show career.
His mum Naomi, herself a sometime exhibitor, thinks Isaac's earliest effort would have been when he was about four and were probably decorated Arrowroot biscuits or cupcakes.
In the intervening 10 years Isaac has tried his hand at numerous classes. While not exhaustive, the list includes longest runner of kikuyu grass, longest stalk of paspalum, woodwork, painting, haystacking, scarecrow-making and vegetable people.
For his trouble, the 14-year-old Shellharbour Anglican College student has picked up many ribbons, some handy pocket money and has had a great time in the process.
Isaac may be the most prolific show-enterer in the Gates family but he is by no means alone.
Mrs Gates said the family's interest in the show goes back to her grandfather Pat Gallagher, who owned a timber mill at Bombo and sponsored a wood chopping event.
She said starting with the eldest grandchild, now 20, Mr Gallagher's eight grandchildren have all been involved with the event over the years, presenting ribbons.
Mrs Gates's dad Terry has carried on the tradition, sponsoring the Pat Gallagher Memorial wood chop event.
Isaac's siblings are also intermittent show exhibitors. Olivia, 15, enters sewing and handcrafts and has had success with quilting, and brother Solomon, 12, has entered the Lego class.
This year, Isaac is contemplating entering his fluffy chicken in the pet show and he is also hoping to replicate his success in the vegetable person class.
Isaac kindly whipped a specimen up for the Kiama Independent's photo shoot this week and, while not wanting to give away all his trade secrets, offered a few tips for novices.
He said carving always went down well with judges and potato was a pleasing medium, but that he also liked working with capsicum and pumpkin.
The Kiama Show schedule lists more than 1000 classes spread over the horse, cattle, woodchop, rodeo, haystacking, pet show and pavilion sections.
In previous years, The Pavilion has boasted approximately 2000 exhibits including vegetables, fruit, jams, cooking, the NSW Rich Fruit Cake Competition, knitting, tapestry, crochet, sewing, patchwork, craft, art, floral displays, roses, homebrew, photography, porcelain and pottery, spinning and weaving, woodwork and the NSW Dahlia Championships.
There are classes for all ages and all levels of exhibitors.
The Show schedule and relevant forms are available online at www.kiamashow.com.au or from Kiama Tourism.
The 165th Kiama Show is on Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26, 8.30am-10.30pm.
Tickets from the gate, or Kiama Tourism.