Keen not to take on a financial risk, but determined to continue the 173 year tradition of the Kiama Show, the Kiama Show Society has decided to hold a scaled back version next year.
“It will only be on one day, Saturday 23 January, and we won’t have the entertainment component we usually do,” says Show Society President Neil McLaren.
“There is too much uncertainty to commit to any of those costs”
Instead, the focus will be on the key elements of agricultural shows over the years – cattle, horses, the woodchop and the Pavilion.
“We want the emphasis to be on the Show being a reflection of the community, at a time when we all need to feel connected.
“We’re in the same boat as other local shows such as Albion Park and Berry, where we all believe the community needs some degree of normality back to focus on what is great in our community.
“Our community needs events like the Kiama Show just to get people out and be sociable and appreciate what we have here in the local community.
“We’d love for the Show to go ahead purely for that reason alone but how we are going to fund the Show is going to be a very big challenge.”
The enthusiasm to bring back the Show next year is hightened by the decision made to cancel the 2020 Show due to the extreme bushfire conditions.
“Prior to this year, the last time the Show was cancelled was in World War II.
“That’s the degree of the tragedy of the bushfires and now we have the tragedy of the COVID pandemic,” says Mr McLaren.
“Given the whole issue with mental health and the suicides we’ve had around this area, we need the community to come together in whatever way we can.
“The Show has always been a wonderful way this happens annually.”
Given the extra time people have been devoting to crafts, gardening and cooking during this period, he’s expecting fierce competition in the Pavilion section.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we get record entries – everyone I know is keeping busy, and this is the opportunity to show it off.”
The Committee is currently planning and tabling options on how to run a COVID Safe Show, with ideas such as limiting access to only the Bong Bong Street gate, one way visitor traffic and limiting numbers in parts of the showground, including the Pavilion.
The Show Society is in discussion with Kiama Council to ensure a Covid Safe event can occur and meet the NSW Health requirements for
hygiene and safe distancing.
Any community members who would like to assist, or have suggestions on what they would like to see at the Show in 2021, are welcome to contact the Kiama Show Society’s Management Committee via email@example.com