BUCK OFF: Maclean rodeo, markets victims of COVID
TWO of Maclean's biggest annual events have been added to the growing scrapheap of cancellations due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Organisers have abandoned plans for both the Lawrence Twilight Rodeo at Maclean Showground on December 27 and the Maclean MacMarket Day in River St on January 2.
The cancellations leave the calendar of events very bare for the Lower Clarence region during the upcoming Christmas period.
"It's heartbreaking because it's probably one of the biggest events at Christmas time in the Clarence Valley and we feel like we're letting everyone down," rodeo organiser Bruce Green said.
"It looks the restrictions are going to be like this until Christmas, in which case we'll only be allowed 500 people in the showgrounds.
"By the time you've got all the competitiors and organsers it doesn't leave room for many spectators. We need about 2000 people through the gates just to break even."
Mr Green said Clarence Valley Council had indicated patrons would also have to remain in allocated seating at all times and the committee just does not have the resources to carry out just extensive social distancing controls.
"It's just unfortunate you just can't run these things at the moment," he said. "There's been virtually no rodeos since the pandemic started.
Mr Green pointed to the Queensland Government's strict border policy as a major hindrance on organising a financially viable event.
"We have a lot of Queenslanders come down to us," he said.
Meanwhile last month Maclean Lions Club issued a message to members announcing the cancellation of the 2021 MacMarket.
The day of fun and festivities hosted by the Lions club in the closed off main street attracts more than 80 stalls on the first Saturday of every year.
"It is with regret that the Maclean Lions Club has decided to cancel the MacMarket for 2021," Maclean Lions Club's Maureen Cunningham said.
"A decision had to be made and as it is unclear what the situation will be in a few months' time and also the onerous regulations for markets being imposed by the Clarence Valley Council it was decided by club members not to proceed at this time.
"Hopefully we can be back bigger and better in 2022."
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