This article first appeared in Bellingen Shire News on 8th Dec 2021.
2021 was a difficult year for show societies with COVID restrictions causing the cancellation of many local shows throughout NSW. Bellingen was fortunate in that it not only staged its annual show but public support for the event was at record levels, highlighting the importance of this long running event for the people of the shire.
Buoyed by the success of the 2021 show the Show Committee met last month for its annual planning meeting and looked at what worked at the 2021 show, what could be done better, and set priorities for the lead up to the 2022 event and for the next 3 years. The aim of the meeting was to identify events and projects that will enhance the long term viability of the show while ensuring that it stays in touch with the community that supports it. This year the planning meeting was also attended by representatives of the Bellingen Showground Land Management Board indicating the desire of both the Board and the Show Society to maintain a close working relationship.
Some key decisions to come out of the meeting included:
- the Show Coordinator position will be readvertised – see the advertisement in this edition of Bellingen Shire News and go to our website (www.bellingenshow.com.au) for more information;
- online ticketing will again be used for entry to the showground on show days and online entries to some sections will be trialed;
- the Cooking Demonstrations will be on again in 2022 and negotiations are underway with a well known Sydney chef to run these and the popular Chef’s Table;
- major changes to the format and content of the show schedules have been flagged that will benefit both entrants and show sponsors.
Discussions at the meeting also highlighted the important contributions that volunteers make to the running of the show and the need to engage and encourage members of the community to be part of the team that makes it all happen every year. We will shortly have a Get Involved page up on our website where you can indicate which areas of the show interest you. Closer to the show we contact all our volunteers and send out Sign Up forms so you can select when and how you will be involved. We also hold a Volunteers Day barbecue three weeks prior to the show to say thank you in advance, give you the opportunity to come and meet the Committee and other volunteers, learn something about all areas of the show and generally have social interaction with other members of the community who enjoy volunteering.
All the popular events and competitions will be at the showground again in 2022. So put you best jar of jam aside, see what you could cook for the cookery section, paint a picture for Mantova, get those fabulous vegetables growing and have that new quilt finished. Put the 21st and 22nd May, 2022 in your diary and start thinking about how you will participate. The Bellingen Show only exists because of the community that supports it.
See you at the Bellingen Show in 2022!