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Historic cancellation: The 107th Lake Hayes A&P Show won't be held till 2023

By CASS MARRETT

IN 106 years, Queenstown’s Lake Hayes A&P Show has only been cancelled during wartime.

But its 107th annual show, due to take place on January 15, has been canned due to Covid restrictions.

The decision came after organisers considered the challenges associated with operating events over summer and the ‘‘uncertain timing’’ of the move to the new traffic light system.

It couldn’t go ahead under Alert Level 2, or under the new ‘traffic light’ framework at the red setting.

‘‘We had hoped to hold a positive and fun community day for people after another challenging 12 months in the region,’’ Lake Hayes A&P Show president Pip Norton says.

“There were some exciting events in the pipeline for the show this year but everyone’s hard work won’t be in vain as we will now plan for an even greater show when we return in
2023.”

When asked if the show qualified for government’s events transition support scheme, Norton says ‘‘it is possible’’ they’d be eligible if Covid restrictions meant the event was
unable to proceed.

‘‘The decision not to proceed was based on the logistics and human resources required for the event to go ahead.

‘‘We are not a commercially-run organisation, although we operate to the same regulations and standards.

‘‘Our volunteers spend a considerable amount of their own time to ensure we have a safe and fun show each year and this decision was certainly not taken lightly.

‘‘We’re gutted, but on balance it was agreed by the committee that cancelling the show was the right call.’’

Norton says even if Queenstown was in the orange setting of the ‘traffic light system’ come January, the volunteer-run event would need to incorporate additional requirements including digital ticketing, checking vaccination status of all people accessing the site, and securing the site with fencing — which wasn’t feasible.

The new date for the 107th Lake Hayes is January 14, 2023.

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz