22 Sep 2017

PNG's Goroka Show attracts record crowd

9:25 am on 22 September 2017

Over 5000 tourists attended last weekend's Goroka Show in Papua New Guinea creating what's been reported as the biggest crowd in the show's 61-year history.

Traditionally garbed Papua New Guinea mudmen.

Traditionally garbed Papua New Guinea mudmen. Photo: RNZ / Annell Husband

The Post Courier said tourists from Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Italy and Africa traveled to the Eastern Highlands for the annual three day event, the longest running cultural festival in PNG.

Started in 1957 by Australian patrol officers known locally as kiaps, the idea was for tribes across the region to forget their differences and come together to share their identity as one during independence day celebrations.

But while the famous Asaro mudmen of Goroka thrilled the crowds the show was marred by the death of a man competing in the slippery pole competition.

The man fell from the top of a 12 metre pole while reaching for a prize prompting calls for the competition to be removed from next year's show.