Citizens rally for Cohuna Show

COMMUNITY members have rallied to rescue the Cohuna Show, which has been reduced in scope this year and was in danger of folding due to a lack of volunteers to run it.

Community support has enabled Cohuna Show organisers to reinstate cattle and poultry sections.

Community support has enabled Cohuna Show organisers to reinstate cattle and poultry sections.

This year's show, on Saturday, March 16, had been reduced to a one-day format which would include only horse, dog and flower events.

Friday night entertainment, sideshows and some pavilion sections have been abandoned due to diminished support.

Cohuna Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Society has been staging the annual show for 105 years.

"Under advice from VAS [Victorian Agricultural Shows] Ltd we ... decided that in order to 'keep the show going' we would only hold three sections which are required for the show to gain official status," the show committee announced on its Facebook page on January 19.

But thanks to a wave of concern and influx of new volunteers following the announcement, cattle and poultry competitions have been reinstated for 2019 and candidates to manage the show into the future have been found.

Society president Graham Peace said 20 people had answered the call for assistance, attending a meeting at the Cohuna Civic Centre on February 19, including several potential candidates for committee positions.

"We had a good response. There were some new faces and some older ones, and some younger people among them," said Mr Peace, who after almost a decade of involvement, is ready to bow out of the show's management, although he expects to stick around for 12 months while the new committee "find their feet". 

Fireworks, pavilion competitions, memberships and sideshows will still be off the program this year.

While it was too late to "crank up the Friday night" content for this year's show, the fresh input has enabled poultry and beef cattle sections to be reinstated, with a display of goats and a goat-farming workshop to also form part of events.

Mr Peace said the lawns at the recreation reserve were being cut and watered this week and the grounds will be cleaned up in coming days. 

"It's up and running, we're going to have a show," he said.

"There's still no sideshow alley but people can come and look at the animals, enjoy themselves and have a free day out."

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