It was sorely missed in 2020, but the Royal Bathurst Show is back better than ever for 2021, and it has everyone excited. Bathurst Show President, Colin McPhee, said that after the year people had endured in 2020 with COVID having such an impact on everyone's lives, it was a great opportunity to put some smiles back on people's faces. "People are excited to be back out and enjoying themselves," he said. "It's fantastic that we are able to run again this year and everyone has been busy working behind the scenes to make sure the crowd has a great time."
A big crowd is expected at this year's Show based on the success of other agricultural shows around the state and the eagerness of people looking for entertainment. Executive Secretary, Brett Kenworthy, said places like Goulburn and Newcastle had seen a significant lift in numbers and they were planning for the same.
"Historically Bathurst records attendance across the three days around the mid to high 20,000 mark, and we are preparing for high 20,000 at least," he said. "We had a good deal with our Online Early Bird Tickets where people could save 20 per cent off the standard entry price and a lot of people have chosen to take that up, and we also still have five per cent off when you purchase tickets online."
The Bathurst Show Committee, along with the Showmen's Guild, have gone to extensive lengths to ensure the Royal Bathurst Show is a COVID-safe event. Contact tracing is provided through ticket sales and COVID plans are in place with a strong focus on crowd control and cleaning at pavilions and on rides and amusements.
With strong ticket sales, solid competition entry numbers and Sideshow Alley starting to take shape, all that is left is for the crowd to roll in. Brett said the committee had taken care of all the hard stuff to allow the crowd to sit back and enjoy the weekend. "It's taken a bit to get everything back up and running smoothly but it's worth it," he said. "The committee has been working hard and we've also had some multi-million dollar upgrades begin across the grounds, which is always good to see and helps improves facilities for everyone."
A number of agricultural shows have suffered in recent years with drought affecting entries and families budgets, shrinking crowds and the need for a revamp. Bathurst Show President, Colin McPhee, said that while Bathurst had fared better than most, it was important for locals and visitors alike to support their local shows. "We were lucky to have good crowds and entertainment continue apart from 2020, and were also eligible for financial assistance," he said. "We are just happy to be able to welcome people back through the gates and start building towards future years."