The town had, in fact, started an agricultural show first back in 1849 – to “promote prosperity, development of agriculture and breeding in the area”. It was a big event on the calendar and a chance for locals to meet up with friends and family, show animals and produce, and picnic at the makeshift showground.
The first few decades saw the show’s location shift many times – moved along first due to the building of Kiama’s Infant School in 1871, then the Post Office in 1878 and finally evicted from Blowhole Point when that land was needed for the Lighthouse in 1886.
That same year, a new site at Long Brush (some 3 kilometres inland and 152m above sea level) was purchased and a beautiful cedar pavilion built there. However, the long hill climb would prove too difficult for a horse and cart, and so in 1896 the present-day site near the ocean was secured.
The cedar pavilion had been too good to leave behind at Long Brush, so it was re-located to its new home, before being tragically destroyed by fire in 1938. It wasn’t until 1967 that a new steel-framed Showground pavilion was completed – designed by Des Giles to be “a multi-purpose venue to serve all community life in Kiama, all year round”.
It was this blueprint as a “place for all” that paved the way for the multi-use venue we see today. Built in 2009 on the site of the two before it, The Pavilion Kiama continues the legacy of servicing the community – proud of its past and excited about the future.