’Show will go on’: President’s embrace fresh COVID-19 challenge
THEY’RE no strangers to being the first cab off the rank, but all eyes are set to be on the Stanthorpe Agricultural Society as they prepare for the first coronavirus safe show.
The two-and-a-half-day event will be run as close to normal as possible, according to Agricultural Society president Brett Boatfield, with social distancing measures their biggest change.
Mr Boatfield, who has been working closely with Queensland Health and Queensland Ag Shows, welcomed the challenge of being the ‘guinea pig’ when it came to the new regulations.
“We always set the example for a lot of things, so it doesn’t worry us and we’re happy to show others that they can do it,” Mr Boatfield said.
“I’ve had a few calls from other presidents but if you break it down like we have, there’s six elements of a COVID plan and if you apply the elements, it’s easy.
“It’s not something to be scared of.”
Presidents and officials from societies across the state are expected to meet at the end of the month to outline strategies for running a successful event.
According to Mr Boatfield, the show society are working to accommodate up to 10,000 people in their COVIDSafe plan.
“We get around 2,500 through each day and on average it’s a transient sort of crowd,” he said.
“We’ve estimated that there’s 1500 people on the ground at any one time and we can manage the peak times of the day.
“That’s why it’s easy for us to meet that COVIDSafe guideline of 1000 to 10,000 people.”
Mr Boatfield promised iconic show staples would make a return, including side show alley, animal exhibits and everyone’s favourite nighttime firework display.
“They’ll see everything that they expect – a show is a show,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I think it’ll be a great show and it’ll be well supported because everyone wants to go and have a good time.
“There’s going to be extra work but it’s not hard work.”
The Stanthorpe Show will run from January 29 – 31, with the Warwick Show set to happen on March 19 to 21.