IT’S a tale of two major historic agricultural shows, with one pushing ahead and the other cancelling.
The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania will proceed with its Hobart show despite Covid-19 restrictions, while the Royal Launceston Show has been cancelled.
Tasmanian agricultural shows have been decimated over the last two years because of the Covid restrictions placed on them.
The Brighton Show and Burnie Shows are recent casualties and will not proceed this year.
However, the Circular Head Show is scheduled to run on November 27 at Stanley.
Tasmania’s agricultural shows are an important part of the community’s fabric.
And Tasmania’s iconic sport of woodchopping has suffered badly.
Woodchoppers have lost 50 per cent of their events because of the cancelled agricultural shows.
Legendary Tasmanian axemen David Foster said there were four woodcutting associations in the state.
“The woodchopping fraternity have adjusted by running woodchop-only carnivals,” David said.
The Royal Hobart Show, which has run for 200 years, will be from Wednesday, October 20, to Saturday, October 23.
Show-goers will now need to book sessions this year.
Each session will be limited to 5000 people.
Wednesday, October 20, will consist of one, day-long session; Thursday, October 21, (public holiday) will have a morning and afternoon session, with the day extended until 7pm; Friday, October 22, has two sessions, with the second session extending into the evening, with the traditional fireworks to end the day; Saturday, October 23, is a one-day session.
The Royal Launceston Show, which began in 1873, was to have run on October 7 and 8, but focus will now be directed towards planning the 2022 show.
The Royal National Agricultural and Pastoral Society of Tasmania president Dale Beams said the decision to cancel the Royal Launceston Show was made after extensive consideration.
“It was not a decision made lightly,” he said. This year’s Hobart Show marks 200 years of agricultural exhibiting in Hobart.
RAST has agreed the show can proceed with a cap on attendances imposed by the Health Department, in return for Government support that will go some way towards alleviating the financial loss due to the daily cap of 5000.
“We have been planning for a special show since early this year to celebrate 200 years of agricultural showing.”
“It will be the first time in Australia that an agricultural show has reached this mile stone,” RAST chief executive Scott Gadd said.