Gala organiser 'disappointed'

One of the organisers of the Brighton Gala says he is ''slightly disappointed'' the Otago-Taieri A&P Society could not hold its public show day on a Sunday so the events would not clash, despite the gala previously moving its date to accommodate the show's 150th anniversary.

The two events will take place on Saturday, January 25, next year, possibly splitting attendance and forcing stallholders to choose between the two.

The two events have run on the same weekend for more than 15 years - the A&P show with its public day on Saturday and the gala on Sunday.

Gala organiser Colin Weatherall said when the A&P Society was celebrating the show's 150th anniversary it came to gala organisers to ask that the gala be moved to the following weekend because it wanted to run show public days both days.

The gala had happily moved to accommodate the society.

However, it indicated at the time that it might need the favour returned, particularly next year when it is the host for the diamond anniversary of the Dunedin-Brighton vintage car rally, and for another Saturday event in 2016.

''But when I went to them in February or March this year, in plenty of time and I said, 'Guys, I just need to remind you that we did move and we need you to move this year', I was politely told no-one recalled that arrangement and no, because they had fixtures in place.''

He said he understood that, but the gala had no choice but to stay on the Saturday because the rally was a national fixture and could not be moved.

Mr Weatherall said the gala had no concerns about the turnout as a result of the clash, it was prepared and had 100 stallholders and was ready to go.

''We're happy, but slightly disappointed we couldn't work together, but that's as far as I'm going to go.''

A&P Society president Wayne Smaill said, from the society's perspective, the biggest shame about the clash was that it was disappointing for stallholders because they missed out on a ''double whack'' at the visitor dollar that weekend.

Asked if he had heard of the agreement, he said any historic arrangements must have got lost in the changeover to a new committee, but by March it was already to late to change the public show day.

''It's a shame for both parties, but we are just unable to change and it will be the same next year.''

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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