It’s full steam ahead for the Gundagai Show next month and although it will be run in accordance with COVID safe guidelines, the Gundagai P&A
Society says show goers should see little difference to how the popular annual event is staged on February 19 to 21.
In November last year, the NSW Government announced that COVID-19 restrictions will be eased to allow up to 5,000 people, excluding employees and volunteers, to be on a showground at any one time.
After deliberation, the P&A Society made the unanimous decision that the 2021 Gundagai Show would go ahead.
Society member Dan McDonnell, who this year will assist an employed COVID officer in making sure the Show is run in a COVID-safe way, said once people get through the front gate, it will be business as usual.
“The difference is that we have to be COVID compliant and we’ve employed the services of a COVID officer to assist us in that, but apart from that, we want to run the Show as per usual,” Dan said.
“The major difference people will notice is at the entry where we will be registering everyone for traceability purposes. That’ll be the challenge, but we’ll be putting more resources into that.
“Once people are actually in the showground, we’ve got enough space, enough eating places, toilets, bars, so that compliance, once people get into the Show, we don’t see will be that much of an issue.”
Inside the showgrounds, show goers will notice the presence of COVID marshalls who will make sure people are doing the right thing and being COVID compliant.
While usually involved in the running of the tiny tot stockman’s challenge on the Saturday Show day, this year Dan’s role will change and he will assist COVID officer Scott Sanbrook with COVID compliance.
“We will also talk to (Gundagai-Adelong Racing Club president) Mick Crowe to give us a bit of guidance as well since Snake Gully was run so well last year. We’ll also speak to NSW Health and police prior to the event to help us with our COVID safe plan,” Dan said.
“There is a very real possibility that we won’t make any money this year, but we feel as a committee that we owe it to the community, that we are obligated to run at a loss if need be to show support to everyone that’s shown support to us in years gone by.”
One month out, things are running smoothly as the committee starts to ready itself for the big event.
This year already promises to be one of the biggest in the showjumping and horse sections, particularly in the Hack classes.
“Where we might be limited is the people that would have come out of Victoria and out of the other designated hot spots, we may lose some participants from those areas, but we have the potential to pick up more entrants from elsewhere because a lot of other events have been cancelled,” Dan said.
The Saturday promises to be a day of fun filled family activities.
Animal Wrangler Lachie Cossor will be back this year in a demonstration which has been described as ‘orchestrated chaos’. It is a fun show with some horsemanship, working dog and crowd participation. The performance has been described as educational with a comedy spin on it. It includes horses, ponies, pigs, dogs, sheep, a goat and an over-sized bullock, all of which have their place in the show.
The Telopea Band, a large school band, that can play pop, rock, movie themes etc, will also be at this year’s Gundagai Show. This youth band tours regularly and usually performs at Canberra Royal Show. Due to the cancellation of the Canberra Show, it is Gundagai’s gain.
Usual events include sheep, cattle, horses, poultry, pavilion exhibits, yard dogs and sheep dog trials, cattle dog trials, show dogs, birds, an animal nursery, wildlife display, Majura the Magician, face painting, cartoon portraits, stalls, vintage cars, the sideshow alley, show bags and chainsaw sculptures.
“The annual Show showcases our district and beyond, and we continue to see the very best agricultural exhibits and community displays on offer,” said P&A Society president Paul Luff.
“We are proud of our annual Show and the community spirit it generates.
“The Show would not survive without the local community and the generous support from our members, sponsors and advertisers.”
Schedule sections can be found on the P&A Society’s website (www.gundagaishow.com.au).
Members of the public entering any of the many varied schedule sections can lodge their entry, prior to the Show, at the temporary show office at Ray White Real Estate, Sheridan Street.
The office will open from 10am to 4pm on Monday February 15 until Thursday February 18.