By Colin MacGillivray
While many agricultural shows across Australia have been cancelled this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Seymour society president Jason Ronald said members were determined to host a show this year if possible.
He said the society had been disappointed after deciding to cancel last year’s show in June and would give this year’s show, scheduled for October 1 and 2, every chance to proceed.
“With the ongoing business of lockdowns and COVID problems in this state and Queensland and New South Wales, people are anxious,” he said.
“They’re not sure what’s happening and what’s going to happen, and whether we’ll be in lockdown again.
“The Melbourne Show was cancelled, which would have finished the day after the Seymour Show this year because of a change of dates. Just recently the Royal Show in Adelaide has been cancelled, so the only Royal Show around Australia has been Sydney back in April this year.
“The Sunbury Show was cancelled the weekend after us and when we heard that the Elmore Field Days and Henty Field Days had been cancelled, it doesn’t help you when you’re trying to be positive.
“Sure, there are question marks out there as to what will happen, but we’d really like to put on the show because we need something positive for the people of the shire and the community around Seymour to celebrate.”
Mr Ronald said society members spent an hour debating whether to push forward with plans for the show at a meeting last week.
He said a key factor in the group deciding to host the show was the fact that most of its members have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Most of our people are feeling better about it because they’ve had one or two jabs so far, and hopefully the rest of the community is the same and want to celebrate and get out and enjoy themselves, which they haven’t been able to do at an event for ages,” he said.
Mr Ronald said the society had submitted forms to the State Government Department of Health in preparation for the event and would take every precaution around COVID-19.
“We’re going on the basis that we can hopefully have about 1500 people a day on Friday and Saturday,” he said.
“People can come into Kings Park and it’s a big area and it’s open. People have to wear masks at the moment and they’ll have to use QR codes so they’re registered.
“There’ll be lots of sanitising and the toilets will be cleaned regularly. We’ll have COVID marshalls everywhere because you’ve got to have one for every 200 people who attend.
“People will have to buy their tickets before the day online rather than rolling up at the gate and just thinking they can get in.”
Mr Ronald said the show was set to feature plenty of crowd-pleasing attractions.
“We’re looking to have bands and music and rides and pavilions open for people to go into on the Friday night,” he said.
“On Saturday there will be all the events as well as the horses, the goats, the alpacas, the cattle.
“We’re hoping to have wood chopping again because we brought that back in 2019 or 2018 and people enjoyed that.
“Then there will be all the arts and crafts that all the community likes to get involved in.”
People can find more information about the Seymour Show by visiting www.seymouragshow.org.au.