SEYMOUR Agricultural and Pastoral Society will abandon plans for this year’s Seymour Show in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Society president Jason Ronald last week announced the show would not go ahead as planned, with a contingency for small celebrations if government health restrictions eased before the show’s planned October date.
Mr Ronald said the society was disappointed to cancel the show, but believed it was the right move.
“We’ve been waiting and watching, keeping our fingers crossed and hoping something would happen that would give us an indication that things would be better by October, but you need a crystal ball on these things,” he said.
“In the meantime, about 40 shows in Victoria have been cancelled, some coming up after us.
“We met and talked about the issues involved, and the major things were that we don’t know what the situation is going to be in terms of how many people can be together in an open space.”
Mr Ronald said the show would have been impossible to organise logistically, with many volunteers pulling out.
“The whole show survives on the work of volunteers, both throughout the year and on the day,” he said.
“A number of them said they didn’t think they could risk being involved this year, and others said they would help set up beforehand but wouldn’t be there on the Friday or the Saturday because they didn’t want to risk it either.
“Sponsors are starting to say it’s been a tough year and they haven’t got that extra money to donate this year.
“Then the requirements of sanitising and distancing that are needed to host an event aren’t commensurate with what a show is all about.”
Mr Ronald said the agricultural society remained in a good financial position despite the cancellation.
“Fortunately we’re not in a bad situation financially because we’ve had successful shows over the past few years,” he said.
“We haven’t had to expend any money on the show this year, so we’re not in a situation like, for example, the Sydney Royal Easter Show where they had to pull the plug with less than a month to go.
“It means that we won’t get the income we normally get from the show, but we can keep going.”