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Annual Devonport Show axed after 108 years

Annual Devonport Show axed after 108 years
October 19, 2017

In a climate of uncertainty for agricultural shows in Tasmania, this year's Devonport Show, previously held over more than 100 years, has been scrapped.

Increasing costs and dwindling attendance have contributed to the decision, which was made at a special meeting of the Devonport Agricultural and Pastoral Society on Monday night.

Show Society President MaryAnn Hortle said it was a tough call, telling the ABC “the Devonport Agricultural and Pastoral Society first and foremost is a business and the executive have had to make a business decision that there wasn't enough financial certainty around running the Devonport Show.

"We're like any business, you can't run up bills without the knowledge you're going to be able to pay those bills.

"Therefore we made the very difficult decision to not hold the show for this year."

The Show was scheduled to be held in December.

Hortle added “we're not sure what the local community want, we're getting very mixed messages.

"We look at trying to do something that we think is agricultural because that's what it is but we also have to face the reality that we're in a small city and what do the small-city people who might attend the show want to come and see.

"I'm not sure in this day and age whether the actual residents of Devonport city itself see that importance of the show."

The staging cost for this year's show were expected to be around $60,000.

Earlier this month, organisers warned the Show may not go ahead if they could not secure a new major sponsor.

However, Hortle remains optimistic that the Show will be held in 2018.

She concluded “when we made the decision to cancel this show it was certainly not with the intention of not having a show in the future, that is not part of our planning at this stage.

"There is no thought at this stage of not having a show in 2018."

Hortle said it was unclear what would happen with the local public holiday due for Show day but a concert featuring country music stars the Wolf Brothers would go ahead on 2nd December.

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14th August 2014 - REPORT SHOWS EVENTS DRIVE REGIONAL TOURISM

17th October 2012 - AGRICULTURAL SHOWS IN DECLINE, WHILE COUNTRY EVENTS THRIVE

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