Show won't go on this weekend

IT WAS a decision Marie Warwick had been hoping to avoid.

But as heavy rain pelted Bellingen Showground yesterday, making the sodden grounds even soggier, she and the committee were left with no option but to cancel this weekend's Bellingen Agri-Cultural Show.

“We made the decision at 9.30am today,” the long-time show secretary said.

“It was necessary not only because of the rain but also because the grounds are so water-logged.

“It is not safe for the ring events and the cattle and the side show trucks are already getting bogged.”

She said after months and months of work cancelling the show was disappointing but that safety came first.

“We absolutely can't put people's lives at risk.”

Outside side show operators were packing up and beating a hasty retreat from rising floodwaters.

“We're trying to get everything out as fast as possible,” owner Lynn Flaherty said.

“It's a shame to be carving up the showground but we need to get everything on the road to Coffs Harbour.

“It's very disappointing - it would have been a great show.”

Would-be entrants were also disappointed, as they and their jars of jams and preserves were turned away.

One bright moment came as a bogged truck bearing dodgem cars was finally dragged out of the mud, clearing the way for other rigs to make their exit.

Mrs Warwick said yesterday's priority was to get everyone out of harm's way and that the financial ramifications would be sorted out next week.

However, she confirmed the show raffle was still running with tickets on sale around the shire.

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