Preparations for the 2020 Maitland Show are firmly underway with many of the city's favourite attractions already locked in for the three day event.
All of the agricultural competitions will go ahead despite the unrelenting drought in the Hunter and across the state. The horse, cattle, goat and poultry sections are expected to attract a decent amount of entries to continue the show's longstanding link with the land.
Maitland Showground manager Brett Gleeson said the popular animal nursery would also make a return with a wide range of farm animals including chickens and goats. The interactive experience gives children the chance to see these animals up close and even feed some of them.
He emphasised the iconic show, which will be held on February 14, 15 and 16 at Maitland Showground, still had an important role to play after all of these years.
"It's bringing the country to the city and that's important these days with more urbanisation - look at the Maitland area with it's fastest-growing population. It's giving young people a chance to connect with agricultural life and understand the reality and the truth of where hens eggs come from - that they actually come out of a hen's backside and not out of a carton," he said.
"It gives people a chance to be involved, and that's where I started - as a competitor. There are a whole range of activities - showing cattle, poultry, riding horses, and then some go on and become judges and some get involved with running the different sections - that builds their interest.
"Some of our stewards have been here for about 30 years as competitors as well and they get great enjoyment out of it and teaching young people about the different breeds of cattle or poultry."
The annual rodeo will take place as usual on the Friday night and the fireworks will light up the sky on the Saturday night.
There are still a few exciting attractions that are in the works and details about them are expected to emerge in the new year.
"I'm currently looking at the wow factor - I'm still in some discussions about that," he said.
With the show kicking off on the loveliest day of the year - Valentine's Day, Mr Gleeson is hoping someone will get down on one knee and propose.
"We're hoping there will be a proposal on top of the Ferris Wheel, so we'll put that out there and see what happens," he said.
To find out more about the 2020 Maitland Show click here.