Show called off but some events will be run

Show administrator Lucille Brown fields phone calls after news broke of the cancellation of the...
Show administrator Lucille Brown fields phone calls after news broke of the cancellation of the Ashburton A&P Show. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The Ashburton A&P Show, scheduled for next month, has been cancelled.

It is a decision that has hung over the Ashburton A& P Association general committee since Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced in March.

The two-day show, which attracts thousands of people, is the latest casualty in a growing list of agricultural shows to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions on gathering numbers.

Show administrator Lucille Brown now has the unenviable task of organising refunds to more than 330 entries and quite a few of the 97 trade/market sites that had booked to take part.

Mrs Brown said committee members discussed the running of the 143rd annual event but with other shows cancelling, and no guarantee on restrictions changing in the immediate future, the decision to cancel had been made. However, the association was keen to proceed with a handful of events.

Highland dancing will be run in the Netherby School Hall on October 31, the Tux Dog Show will go ahead at the top of the grounds on October 30 and 31, the Alpaca Association is looking to run an event on October 31, and the showjumping will definitely be held over the same weekend, with a schedule to be confirmed soon.

While the smaller events will go ahead, they will not include any trade/market or food sites, sideshows or other entertainment.

"We consider that doing so is in the best interest of the association, exhibitors, competitors, suppliers and the community due to the uncertainty of what Covid-19 level we will be in (and the restrictions on gatherings that may apply) come show day," committee members said in a statement.

Options for running smaller events for individual show sections around the original dates were being investigated, and further information would be made available once this was done.

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