This year's show season will once again be impacted by the ever present COVID pandemic.
With show committees making decisions on whether to proceed or not on a weekly basis, due to the pandemic, a number of local shows have decided to cancel their events while others are keen to go ahead in a COVID safe environment.
Among the shows to cancel their 2021 events are Wingham, Nabiac, Comboyne, and Cessnock.
Maitland Show decided to postpone their event until August but they will be holding a rodeo on Friday night, February 19 and the stud beef cattle judging and ASC junior judging and parading competitions will also take place on Friday and Saturday, February 20.
Maitland's Chief steward, beef cattle, Leonie Ball said any enquiries regarding the competition are best directed to her.
One of the region's biggest shows at Morisset had already gone through the process to move their show from February to October.
The shows still planning to hold their events are Newcastle (March 5-7), Gresford (March 12-13), Upper Hunter-Muswellbrook and Gloucester (March 19-20) and Stroud (April 9-10).
Stroud Show president and Agricultural Societies Council of NSW's Zone 3 delegate, James Harris at this stage the Sydney Royal Easter Show will also be held.
"So its a mixed outcome for our show season with some shows keen to go ahead while others said given COVID restrictions it is too hard to muster the manpower to run the event," he said.
"What I am hearing from some of the smaller shows is the fact they simply don't have the volunteers available to carry out all the COVID safety regulations - who will do the job of being a COVID safety marshall and at the same time man the gates and check everyone onto the ground.
"We are fortunate at Stroud as we have plenty of technical support and this year all our tickets will be available online saving a great deal of time at the gates."
Mr Harris said everyone had to learn to live with COVID and these new regulations were going to be with us for sometime. "Bring a mask to the show and abide by the regulations and everyone can still get together and enjoy a great time," he said.
"Country shows are vital for our small communities, especially for rural mental heath, so we need to keep them going and using technology is just one way of making that possible."
He also said government support including a major injection of funds from the Federal government had been vital in covering the running costs of the shows.
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