HEARTBROKEN volunteers have made the difficult decision to cancel the Tamworth Show for the second time in two years.
As the Sydney COVID-19 outbreak intensifies, the potential for numbers to dwindle at the event would make it economically unviable, Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association (TPAA) president Greg Townsend said.
"The public health and safety of Tamworth is first and foremost, because we have a lot of exhibitions coming from outside which would make it difficult," he said.
"It's nearly impossible to run an event with the large volume of people we get through, last show we had nearly 12,000 people through the gate so it's almost impossible to manage that logistics-wise.
"With the policing of restrictions we currently have, we couldn't do it."
The decision was made six weeks out from the annual event that features classic agricultural show activities from horse ring events to cattle, sheep and fleece judging, the popular poultry pavilion, rodeo and sheep dog trials.
COVID restrictions would greatly impact the number of people who could attend the show, held at the Australian Livestock and Equine Events Centre (AELEC).
It needs to be at full capacity to meet the costs of staging the show, Mr Townsend said, and the pressure to implement mandatory mask-wearing, the four-square metre rule and QR codes would be more than the committee could handle.
"Even though things may change in six weeks time, we need to prepare ourselves now," he said.
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"This is the second show we have had to cancel due to COVID, it's very heartbreaking for the volunteers that we are - we spend hundreds and hundreds of hours compiling this and logistically putting it together.
"For the committee it's heartbreaking because this is a real contributor to positive mental health, to take your hat off and enjoy yourself at the show."
Small events like cattle judging will go ahead at smaller venues without crowds earlier next year, to be able to compete for a spot at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The show was slated for September 3 to 5.
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