The Bathurst Agricultural Show is the largest agricultural show in the Eastern Cape and one of the most prestigious events on the agricultural calendar.
At the pre-show planning meeting of the Bathurst Agricultural Society (BAS), held at the showgrounds on Monday evening, it seemed that everything was on-track for the 2019 Bathurst Agricultural Show, due to take place from April 4 to 7 next year.
“Planet or plastic” will be the theme of the show, and president Danny Wepener said that this was an important topic that needed more attention from everyone if we are to ensure that our oceans get cleaned and the huge amount of plastic thrown away every day was to be reduced.
“We are destroying the planet,” Wepener reminded everyone. “We need to recycle our plastic and stop simply throwing it away to end up in a landfill.”
It was decided to change the name of the Home Industries section to Home and Garden.
“It gives the wrong impression and sounds very old-fashioned when we talk of Home Industries,” said Maryna Shepherd who is responsible for the section at the show. “The new name will encourage others to join in and boost the success of the section.”
The horse section was pleased but asked that the stables to be painted, which the committee agreed to do. Stall sales were going well and many stall holders have already paid for their presence at the show. The cattle show was also on-track for another bumper year and, with regard to entertainment and everything seemed to be going well with regard to music, bars, food and other events.
There will be the SAPS K9 unit, a perennial favourite, and the SAPS mounted unit should also be in attendance at the show. There will be a sheepdog demonstration, lawnmower races (junior and senior races). Vintage tractors and classic cars (and ox wagons), Boere perde, Welsh ponies, the Graeme College Band and bagpipes, a cook-off between restaurants and a boerewors competition, boergoats, a beer garden with craft beers, pubs, sheep shearing demonstrations, the army and even a practical demonstration of the use of heavy machinery.
Wepener also mentioned that there was a possibility of a nationally famous singer coming to the show to entertain, but that this was, as yet, unconfirmed.
As far as restoration of the showgrounds, Wepener gave a special word of thanks to those companies that had assisted in rebuilding work. He specifically mentioned Makana Bricks for the bricks for the roadworks and the blocks supplied by PA Brickworks. Wepener also thanked Buco for their assistance with the ablutions.
Still, on a more sombre note, the issues regarding protest action at the showgrounds were discussed. Wepener said the Hobson and Co cattle auction held at the show grounds last week was disrupted by protestors who closed off the roads into the showgrounds preventing ingress and egress.
“The black farmers from the township were prevented from taking part at the beginning of the auction,” he said, but added that when the road was cleared many of the black farmers brought their cattle to the auction.
“We would like to thank SAPS for their work in clearing the road and ensuring that the auction took place and continued uninterrupted,” said Wepener.
There will be another final meeting of the committee in the New Year to ensure that everything is still on track.