The primary purpose of the Show was to showcase western Australia industry, primarily agriculture. It has been the venue for the display of new animal breeds and sports.
The first Show included equestrian events, sheep dog trials, wood chopping, and prizes for cattle and sheep. These events are still part of the Show today.
Parking at the Show is notoriously difficult. To facilitate the growth of the Show, parking space is hired on private front lawns and school / club parking lots in areas proximate to the Show. This activity is community natured, and is often organised by school children or run as a fundraiser for a school or club.
A rail station at the grounds is open for the brief period of the Show. The Fremantle line on the public transport system provides transport during the Show and other notable events at the Showgrounds. A bus service also operates to the nearby area. A Family going to the show can purchase a FamilyRider ticket from the ticket machines located at Showgrounds Station or on the bus.
The ‘showbag,’ which became part of Australian shows as an advertising gimmick, are now sold at $1 to $75 each and contain a number of cheap novelty toys and candy. Showbags are related to a particular candy product, television show, brand name (e.g. Coca-Cola), or may be ‘jumbo’ bags containing a number of brands (e.g. ‘the Mighty Mammomth’ bag). They are a focal point of the Show for many younger children.
The Show also hosts a sideshow alley. Rides are paid for at the venue. Rides include several haunted houses and dodgem cars, among others. The show features the Python Loop, which is a medium-sized roller coaster . Sideshow Alley also features numerous show games. These include fishing, shooting, and tossing games. In fishing games the player must use a fishing rod to fish out a small plastic duck or other object, which has a prize number on the bottom. Shooting games, common at many shows, involve shooting down tin cans using a low-powered air rifle and usually, corks as ammunition. ‘Tossing’ games involve throwing balls into buckets.
The fee also covers such events as
Government funding has been used to lower entry fees rather than provide an extra revenue stream. In September 2004, the Gallop Labor government announced that children would receive free entry to the 100th Perth Royal Show. This occurred through coupons offered in the weekly Sunday Times newspaper (rather than the daily paper, The West Australian). The gesture was to mark the naming of the Royal Show in a list of "Icons" for the 175th anniversary of Western Australia's self-governance.