Sunday, 23 May 2021

"All the fun of the fair..."

at least that is what the organisers are hoping for in September. 

We did not have the annual Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society Show last year. Covid19 put a stop to that as it had put a stop to so many other things. 

This year we are planning for it again. Some of us have already put in rather a lot of work on it. The schedule for Handicrafts had to be revised. We had plans for last year but they are no longer appropriate. How did we include this year's International Year of Fruit and Vegetables as a feature? What else do we need to do to make people aware of the special project for bush fire victims and the environment in which they work? Are the people who were asked to do the judging last year available this year? (No, not if they were coming from overseas and we have to keep our fingers crossed if they are coming from interstate.) How much space are we going to have? Will entries be up or down?

The three day craft event at the showgrounds was an opportunity to advertise the Replanting Australia project but we need more publicity. I am still hoping that the state newspaper will run a feature on it. I'll be talking to someone next week about that.

Planning to open up an event which can attract between 50,000 and 80,000 people a day in more "normal" times is facing all sorts of issues. There will need to be limits on the number of people in some places - like the big pavilion in which the handicrafts are displayed. It can be done but it will need to be done carefully. There will need to be extra precautions with respect the fun fair rides - and how many of those will there be? Some people won't come.  Sadly they will have packed their things away for good in the past year. It has been a way of life for some families for generations - in the same way it is for generations of circus families. 

I know things change. I know things need to change if we are to adapt and survive but it is still sad to know that Covid19 has caused other "deaths" as well. Will children still be able to ride the horses on the "hurdy gurdy" or carousel? Will they still be able to ride the dodgem cars? Will that sticky overly sweet pink "fairy floss" still be available? 

I never wanted to go on the rides as a child. None of us were very keen, not even my youngest horse mad sister. I didn't much care for fairy floss either. The big treat for us was the honey flavoured ice cream - only available at  "the show". Now it is available in the supermarkets and it is no longer considered a rare treat. I haven't wandered around the show for years. I spend my time working in the Handicrafts section. I talk to people. I answer questions about the exhibits. I encourage people to "enter next year". 

It is still interesting and it is still a thrill to see children wander through Handicrafts. They can still puzzle over a piece of illusion knitting and find things like the tiny dragon or the pictures in the quilts and the cake decorated like the showground itself. Yes, things change - and then they don't change at all.