Illabo Show cancelled due to wet weather

Best Commercial Fleece winner, Scott Carter of Illabo, at the Illabo Show in 2014.
Best Commercial Fleece winner, Scott Carter of Illabo, at the Illabo Show in 2014.

The Illabo Show has been cancelled for the first time in its near century-long history.

The final call was made at an executive meeting late last week and the committee has since decided to go ahead with a replacement event in the form of a family fun day.

The decision to cancel the event came after committee members deemed use of the soaked showgrounds impractical and unsafe. 

The local campdraft has also been called off. 

President’s secretary Jeanne Pratt said it was a tough call to make, but the show simply could not go on. 

“The ground is just in shocking condition,” Mrs Pratt said.

“There’s the element of mucking up the grounds and we have to think of safety.

“With trucks coming and going it’s going to make a mess.”

The cancellation carries a widespread impact, with residents traditionally converging on the show from all over the region.

“I don’t recall seeing the grounds this wet in my 70 odd years,” Illabo Show Society president Don Pratt said.

“We’ve seen rain before, but not just continual like this.”

The Illabo Hotel is one of many local groups to feel the pain of the deflating cancellation. 

“Its pretty drastic really, we’ve lost a lot of business,” hotel licensee Di Mitchel said. 

“All of our accommodation had been booked out 12 months in advance, but now no one will be coming.”

The local pub regularly hosts a large dinner on the night of the show, as well as the lamb dinner, where the winner of the show’s prestigious lamb competition is announced.

The two events generally attract a combined 175 people and the show night dinner generates up to $3000 alone. 

Meanwhile, show organisers have shifted their focus as they busily organise Saturday’s replacement family event. 

The day’s features include jumping castles, school displays, a BBQ and bar, craft tables, Red Cross presence, raffles and a football passing competition.

The Junee Show is still slated to go ahead on October 22, according to show society president Peter Commens. 

“The horses may be in doubt, but we won't decide on that for another couple of weeks,” he said. 

“But at this stage we’re absolutely working towards having the show.”