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Five Ways to Get Your Ekka Fix in 2022 Without Actually Going to the Ekka

All of the treats, none of the crowds.
By Sarah Ward
August 09, 2022
By Sarah Ward
August 09, 2022


All of the treats, none of the crowds.

Perhaps you have great memories of rides, sideshows and taking home a goldfish. Maybe even just mentioning Bertie Beetles and strawberry sundaes gets you thinking about all those Wednesdays, year after year, spent away from school and at the Ekka. Whichever fits, every Brisbanite has had their Ekka moment — and we're all glad that the show is back in 2022.

Still, that doesn't mean that we all head along each year. Can't make it this time? Don't have a day to spare? Avoiding crowds? Every Brisbanite has been through that, too, and thankfully a number of events around town are spreading the Ekka love if you're not actually hitting up the Ekka.

Here are our five picks — and yes, strawberries feature heavily. Of course they do.

  • 5

    Until Sunday, August 14, Netherworld arcade game bar is hosting its very own Netherworld Sideshow, combining its usual offerings with a few extra special inclusions. Expect the venue’s existing array of tables, machines and consoles, plus added carnival games, guest machines, fairy floss — and even creepy clowns. We’ll let you decide if that last one is a good or a bad thing.

    The onsite cafe, aka the Hellmouth Diner, is also cranking out carnival-style fare, so your stomach can get in on the action as well. And, you can buy Netherworld showbags filled with merchandise and goodies. Obviously, the bar is pouring its usual brews, too — with a few Ekka-themed specials.

    Image: Cole Bennetts.

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  • 4

    For the third year running, Stone and Wood has brought back its Ekka-inspired Strawberry Sundae Kisses beer. Yes, it’s a boozy version of iconic dessert, and it tastes like strawberries and cream. Stone and Wood whip it up in the traditional Berliner Weisse style, using 60 kilograms of strawberries, with the brew also featuring lactose and vanilla,

    This year, the beer is available in two places around town — at the Ekka itself for the first time, and also at Stone and Wood’s Brisbane brewery in Fortitude Valley while stocks last. Originally, the brew came about as a way to help support charity The Common Good, which uses the sundaes as a fundraising effort for The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation. And, that’s exactly where Stone and Wood is directing proceeds from the beer, too — so having a few pints will mean helping a great cause.

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  • 3

    Emporium‘s Piano Bar is serving up a special Ekka-themed boozy beverage to get you in an extra-sweet mood. Until Sunday, August 14, Brisbanites can mosey on in for a Sideshow Alley cocktail. It combines pink gin, chocolate liqueur, peach liquor, strawberry milk and hazelnut foam, and comes topped with fairy floss and dried rose petals, and it’s the Ekka-related treat that you didn’t know you needed until now.

    And if that’s not enough Royal Queensland Show-themed sipping for you, upstairs at The Terrace — yes, 21 floors up, and with striking views over Brisbane to prove it — you have another choice. The Strawberry Fields turns the beloved Ekka strawberry sundae into a boozy concoction, as made with strawberry gin, sparkling rosé and more.

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  • 2

    Forget scones, jam and cream, as delicious a combination as that is — at The Lab’s Showstopping High Tea in August, that classic setup is on hold. Instead, you’ll tuck into Ekka-themed treats, with the spread available for just two days: from 1–3.30pm on Saturday, August 13–Sunday, August 14. On the menu: fairy floss, strawberry spritzes and mini dagwood dogs, and even popcorn. There’ll also be ribbon sandwiches, plus petite quiches and frittatas — and cakes and pastries with strawberries.

    No, your sweet tooth won’t go hungry here, and nor will your Ekka food cravings. Also a big feature: bottomless sparking wine, although it’s up to you if you add that to all the food. So, you can make your high tea a non-boozy affair for $50, which includes non-stop La Maison Du Thé French hand-crafted tea. Or, you can go for the Chandon package for $70, which comes with endless Domaine Chandon brut rosé, sparkling pinot shiraz and sparkling Chandon brut across two hours.

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  • 1

    You’re at the Ekka, you’ve hit the rides, you’ve seen some animals and you’ve also popped a ball in a clown’s mouth. We all know what comes next: strawberry sundaes and show bags. Here’s a life-changing hack: pick up a Bertie Beetle bag given that it’s basically compulsory, open it up right there and pop that honeycomb-filled chocolate in your sundae. Yes, you’ll thank us.

    Fancy that combo without going to the Ekka — and a levelled-up version of the classic strawberry sundae, too? Three South Bank eateries are serving up their own take on the beloved dessert, dubbed Ekka nostalgia sundaes, until Sunday, August 14. You’ll need to head to Ole Restaurant, Vici Italian and Mucho Mexicano Southbank, which is where Alemre Hospitality Group is dishing up the new menu item. The sundae will set you back $15, and includes strawberry ice cream, honeycomb, meringue, a Bertie Beetle, strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

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