The Committee of the Australian National Field Days (ANFD) says it is "devastated for the region" after coming to the unprecedented decision to cancel the upcoming field days event in October.
The Australian National Field Days chairman Sam Connell and Jayne West, Manager of the ANFD, announced the cancellation of one of the oldest annual agricultural exhibition in the country - which has run each year for the last 68 - following a meeting on Wednesday evening.
The committee says it was a challenging meeting, but with the looming impact of coronavirus' second wave bringing people from "hotspots into the local community" was something the ANFD's decision makers weren't prepared to do.
In a statement, the ANFD said it hoped to be able to run the event but current Public Health Orders state that mass gatherings can only be a maximum number of 500 people seated.
Given that, restrictions made organising and planning the event at the field days' Borenore site very difficult with the ongoing outbreaks.
"We are very mindful about bringing interstate stakeholders and people from hotspots into the local community. It has become apparent that the Field Days will not be able to go ahead in 2020," Mr Connell said.
"Without a clear path to the end of this pandemic and the full easing of social restrictions, the obstacles to running a successful event were challenging".
Mrs West said cancelling the field days has been a difficult decision for organisers knowing it would disappoint all exhibitors, visitorss, volunteers, staff, sponsors and community groups who rely on the annual event.
"The Field Days have never been cancelled for a full three days in their 68 years of operation," she added.
"We are devastated for the region and the economic loss it brings to our towns and villages. We thank everyone for their support."
Mrs West said the ANFD is a not for profit organisation and with COVID-19 and three years of drought which had affected the event and the region, the organisers along with the Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia would be lobbying the Government for support to help bring a bigger and better event in 2021.
More than 600 exhibitors travel to the Borenore site (15kms west of Orange, NSW) from all over Australia and internationally to display their products and services during the three-day event.
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