With just over two weeks to go, anticipation of the biggest agricultural event in the Eastern Cape is building, but concerns have been expressed about the impact of load shedding on the Bathurst Show which will run from Friday April 5 to Sunday April 7.
Bathurst Agricultural Society (BAS) chairman, Danny Wepener, has organised sufficient electrical power to keep at least essential services at the show operational even if load shedding is experienced over the weekend of the show.
“BAS would like to reassure visitors that electricity will be available to power lights and other important services at the show irrespective of whether Eskom cut the power,” said Wepener.
He also mentioned the potential for more protests in the area as Nolukhanyo residents remain unhappy with the lack of importance the municipality appears to be attaching to their problems with water and housing.
“We know the majority of Bathurst residents don’t want the rioting we have seen in the past as they realise it will only cost them money in the long run. But there are some radical elements and we want to ensure the safety of our visitors so we are employing additional security for the duration of the show,” he commented.
This will be the 111th Bathurst Agricultural Show and this year’s theme is “Save the planet from plastic”. Last year’s theme was, “Eaten today? Thank a farmer” which had a strong impact in recognising the critical importance of farmers. This year the aim is to reduce or even eliminate the proliferation of single-use plastics for wrapping that ends up at the landfills, or worse in streams and rivers, choking wildlife and destroying the environment.
As usual, the show will be focused on agricultural activities and rural hobbies and pastimes. As far as farming is concerned there will be cattle, sheep, pigs, fowls and many other animals to see at the show and, as usual the kids can get to hug a piglet or look at the striking and unusual assortment of fowls, or witness a sheep shearing demonstration.
You can look at the artwork displayed at the show that ranges from cake decoration to fine art paintings, or you can see a blacksmith at work at the forge.
And don’t forget the equestrian events, one of the most popular aspects of the Bathurst Show, with dressage, show jumping and more.
Local and national companies, schools, car dealerships and others will have stands at the show and demonstrate their products and services, and there will be a cattle auction with top-quality livestock, K9 dog unit demonstrations, classic cars and a whole lot more fun at the show.
Added to this there are a few events that have also proved popular at previous shows. This includes a cook-off where local chefs receive a box of ingredients and have to design, cook and serve their best dishes using the products supplied. Best of all, when finished spectators get to sample the finished dishes.
Make sure you don’t miss the ride-on lawnmower races where, unlike last year, Wepener has promised to at least finish his race on the same day as the rest of the competitors. There will also be a fun fair and carnival rides, dancing displays, food stall, pubs and live entertainment over the entire weekend.