The thrills of sideshow alley are back in Maitland this weekend to kick off the biggest comeback in history.
The Showmen's Guild is hosting the Hunter Valley Super Carnival over two weekends at Maitland Showground and they've promised all the fun rides - from the Ferris Wheel to the Dodgem cars - as well as lots of showbags and the iconic show food.
It's designed to help the guild's members earn some money after COVID-19 restrictions decimated their industry. They're desperate to get back on their feet and they need families turning up in droves to make that happen.
"We've got the full side show and a bit more than we normally have here in Maitland - quite a few shows have cancelled so we have tried to help as many of our members as we can," Showmen's Guild trustee Lew Osborne said.
"We're hoping the public will come out and support us and we're hoping to earn some money from this event. It'll get used up in the weeks where we don't have any bookings, but it's a start and things are looking better after Easter with a run of shows."
Maitland Showground manager Brett Gleeson offered the guild the chance to hold the carnival after COVID-19 regulations forced the cancellation of the traditional Maitland Show format.
The guild then secured a second weekend after it was unable to reach an amicable agreement with Newcastle Show over fees for the event.
"We have two weekends now so we hope everyone comes out and has a good time," Mr Osborne said.
"We have all the popular showbags and we have set up a food court as well and there will be fireworks."
The fun kicks off on Friday from 4pm until 10pm and continues on Saturday from 10am until 10pm and on Sunday between 10am and 3pm. The entry fee is $2 per person.
Mr Osborne praised the show committee for helping them in their hour of need.
"Hats off to the Maitland Show Society and committee, they have been very supportive over many years and it's nice we can have a place to hold this event," he said.
Maitland Show's cattle, dairy goats, dog and produce competitions went ahead last weekend without any spectators. A record number of entries was received in some sections.
The produce competition attracted 40 exhibitors who brought a wide range of home-grown fruit, vegetables, herbs and eggs.
The rodeo, which had been scheduled for the Friday night was also cancelled after heavy rain flooded the arena and made it impossible to bring the truck of livestock in. It will now go ahead on Friday, March 12.
The show society intends to hold its usual Maitland Show later this year.