Freaks and pigs pull visitors in at the Easter Show

Pigs are one of the show's most popular attractions.
Pigs are one of the show's most popular attractions. Photo: Janie Barrett

The 28-year-old, Aerial Manx, decided that sword swallowing and backflipping separately wouldn't provide a safe income, so he combined them into a world-first act.

He was joined on stage at the Sydney Royal Easter Show by other self-professed freaks including Lizardman, whose teeth have been filed into fangs, and ''the woman with the world's strongest hair''.

''The best crowds in the world are here,'' Mr Manx said backstage after performing in front of a packed amphitheatre on Saturday.

Flip side: Aerial Manx flips while swallowing a sword.
Flip side: Aerial Manx flips while swallowing a sword. Photo: Janie Barrett

He said that he was terrified the first time he tried to swallow a sword while doing a backflip but he was an ''artist'' and had to combat poverty.

The wet weather certainly didn't deter the crowds from heading to the show on the first day of school holidays, with organisers saying early attendance numbers were on par with last year.

Pigs are one of the most popular areas.

The freaks of the feline world were also on display as Pixie Bobs, which have almost no tail and extra toes, competed in the cat breed competition.

But the humble pig is the real star of the show every year, according to small livestock and events co-ordinator Vic Lee.

''Pigs are one of the most popular areas,'' Mr Lee said. ''People love pigs. I think it's due in most part because they remember Babe.

''Pigs are quite smart. If you had enough time you could train them.''

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The prices were high - a chicken schnitzel wrap and soft drink would set you back about $17 and cheapest rides cost at least $3.30 - but nobody seemed to be complaining.

Wollongong mother Jenny Jurman-Hilton said she came with her eight-year-old daughter Grace expecting to wear out her wallet.

''This our third time, it's only an annual thing, and I guess we were prepared for it. We knew we would be dipping into the wallet. It's the thrill of the show, Ms Jurman-Hilton said.

The Lizardman.
The Lizardman. Photo: Janie Barrett

''You know what? Watching those freaks I started to think maybe I shouldn't sweat the small stuff so much.''

From art to animals: 10 rainy day favourites

Art Gallery of NSW
The Domain
Activities run April 14-25 

Australian Museum
College Street, Sydney
Open daily 9.30am to 5pm 

Australian National Maritime Museum
Murray Street, Darling Harbour
Open daily 9.30am to 5pm 

Australian Reptile Park
Pacific Highway, Somersby
Open daily 9am to 5pm 

Kids in the Park
Sydney Olympic Park
Activities run April 12-27 

Powerhouse Museum
Harris Street, Ultimo
Open daily 10am to 5pm 

Royal Easter Show
Showground Road,
Sydney Olympic Park
April 10-23

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Darling Harbour, Sydney
Open daily 9am to 8pm 

State Library of NSW
Macquarie Street, Sydney
Activities run April 14-17 

Sydney Family Show
Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
April 12-23

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