6 January 2021

Yass Show reduced to one-day event, organisers call for volunteers

| Hannah Sparks
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The Green family at Yass Show.

From left: The Green family – Tony, Callum, Rylan, Logan and Riordan – from Canberra at the 2019 Yass Show. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

Yass has reduced its annual agricultural show from a weekend to a one-day event on 20 March, 2021, to help limited volunteers manage COVID-19 restrictions.

The average age of Yass Show volunteers is 70 and the committee decided it was “too hard” to manage the required QR code sign-in system and one-way entry through the pavilion across two days, according to president Anne Hazell.

However, the event will start earlier and finish later, running from around 8 am to 7 pm.

READ ALSO Explainer: What the ACT’s expanded COVID-19 restrictions mean for non-residents

Yass Show will also have a more traditional look and feel in 2021, with a stronger focus on plants and flowers, fruit and vegetables, and art and craft, while entertainment with large crowds, such as the Professional Bull Riders rodeo, is cancelled.

The show has also cancelled its jam and preserve competition because of the risk to judges tasting entries. Meanwhile, the sideshow alley and quick shear are up in the air as organisers consider their feasibility under a COVID-19 safety plan.

A bull rider and crowd at Yass Show.

The Professional Bull Riders rodeo won’t feature at Yass Show in 2021. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

However, Yass Show’s popular woodchopping and Lego competitions will be on. The sheep and cattle competitions will also go ahead, but with reduced class numbers. Organisers will run the horse competition, but are considering limiting the event to local entrants.

Nearby, in Crookwell and Goulburn, organisers have decided to go ahead with weekend shows on 13-14 February and 6-7 March, respectively. However, plans could go awry for all shows in regional NSW if the government enforces tighter restrictions in the coming weeks.

READ ALSO A food-lover’s guide to Bungendore

Like Yass Show, Goulburn Show will have smaller events, and president Jacki Waugh is unsure if its popular pig races will return because they are run by an independent company from Queensland.

Pigs in a pen and crowd at Goulburn Show.

The pig races at Goulburn Show are in doubt for 2021. Photo: Supplied.

However, there will be show rides, a reptile show, market stalls, vintage machinery and dog jumping, as well as sheep, flower, fruit, vegetable, and art and craft competitions.

“It might not be the super show we’ve always had, but we’ll still have something for everyone,” says Jacki.

Other events such as Goulburn’s rabbit show will be scaled down to a display only because there “simply aren’t enough volunteers”, according to Jacki.

“A few of our older volunteers don’t want to come back and some we can’t get because they are outside of the state or country,” says Jacki. “We used to get about eight volunteers from the International Volunteers for Peace, however this year we won’t be able to get any of them.”

Regardless of whether they go ahead, Yass Show, Crookwell Show and Goulburn Show will make less money this year because of the reduced entertainment.

Yass Show will drop its ticket prices to reflect the fewer events. Crookwell Show will also reduce its ticket prices to help people in what has been a financially difficult year, says president Ken McCallum.

At this stage, all Crookwell Show events are due to go ahead apart from the sports shear.

All of the shows are seeking local volunteers to help in the lead up to the event and during the event. If you’re interested in lending a hand, email: [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected].

Attendees will be required to sign into agricultural shows, and organisers are asking for people to download the Service NSW app beforehand to reduce wait times at entrances.

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