The show will go on - with the queens

Long live the queens.

Following an eleventh-hour appeal for additional entrants, the long-running South Otago A&P Show queen contest is back on this year.

The Otago Daily Times brought the tale of regal woe to light last Wednesday, detailing last-ditch efforts of organisers to keep the event running in its 51st year.

At the time, convener Ingrid Keating said only four entrants had been found from a hoped-for eight by the event deadline in early November.

Between five and eight were required for the contest to run.

A full panel of eight contestants had since been found, allowing the traditional A&P centrepiece to grace the November 30 show, Mrs Keating said.

"It's absolutely brilliant. We had so many people contact us after the story was published offering support, suggesting names and stepping up to compete.

"There was definitely a feeling of real sadness in the community that it might not go ahead, but we're 100% back on track.''

Mrs Keating thanked supporting businesses and other sponsors, who had initially been contacted to inform them of the event's cancellation early last week.

None had hesitated in renewing their support, she said.

Although the full programme of show queen build-up events would not now occur, a revised schedule was in place.

"We're meeting the contestants on Wednesday for photos and introductions then we've got a fun and confidence-building programme of events planned running up to show day.

"We've got a fabulous group of entrants this year, so we're looking forward to putting on a show.''


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