The latest Wee Waa Show Society committee meeting was held last Thursday, when the decision was made to go ahead with this year’s show.

In early March, the group announced the event would be cancelled due to uncertainties surrounding COVID-19.

Wee Waa Show Society president, Gary Hibbens, said the committee moved to rescind this motion and instead hold the event from August 27 to 29.

“We’ve instead decided to go ahead with the show, at a later date, and are hoping it will run as close to normal as possible within the COVID safety guidelines,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re confident it will go ahead and be even bigger and better than ever before.”

A variety of factors came into play when the committee was deciding on this new date.

Mr Hibbens said that their initial priority was approval from the Agricultural Societies Council (ASC), which is the governing body for such events.

“This is the weekend we picked when we put it to the ASC,” he said.

“And part of the reason for the late August date is because the Tamworth show is the weekend after.”

“So, we thought it would give us a good opportunity for the Wee Waa show to act as a bit of a warm-up event for people who attend both weekends, which might also attract more people to the town for our show.”

Mr Hibbens said the farming calendar was another factor that the committee considered.

“The industry in and around Wee Waa is a lot quieter during that August period compared to May,” he said.

“We’re hoping this will give us a boost in attendance and volunteer numbers, since most farmers won’t already be occupied with picking cotton or planting wheat.”

If the new date works well for Wee Waa, Mr Hibbens said the committee may consider continuing with this later date for future shows.

Mr Hibbens explained the change of decision came from discussions with other regional show committees in the district, as well as community feedback.

“We spoke with groups from Moree, Walgett and Inverell,” he said.

“Not only that, but our committee found there was a real emphasis from the local community, with so many saying they wanted the show to go ahead.”

The majority of the committee was particularly concerned about losing local support, especially from the youth of Wee Waa, according to Mr Hibbens.

“A lot of us were worried that, if we were to miss two shows in a row, some of the younger generations might lose their connection with the event,” he said.

“Particularly the school-aged children – if we fall out of touch with them, they might not be interested in entering the variety of junior competitions the Wee Waa show offers.”

Wee Waa Show Society publicity officer, Janelle Schwager, says she’s thrilled the event will be going ahead in 2021.

“It gives the community something to look forward to, especially since there was no show last year,” she said.

“And we’ve even got attractions like the dog high jump returning to this year’s event program, which will be great to see since we haven’t run this competition in several years and it has been very popular in the past.”

If you’re interested in helping the team prepare for the August event, Mr Hibbens urges you to get involved.

“We’re always welcoming new volunteers, and interested locals are encouraged to attend our meetings,” he said.

Mr Hibbens said the committee is excited to be taking this opportunity, and thanks the local community for their patience and support over such a turbulent period.

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