[230921WCBRCWav06.JPG] Jumps for horse events will not be needed on November 16 if Waverley is under level 2 restrictions on its annual show day, Leeanne Morrison says. Photo / Bevan Conley [A_171117WCSup03.JPG] Fencing competitions are often held at the show. Photo / Vanessa Stafford Laurel Stowell email@example.com
Leeanne Morrison can remember getting a new dress and a day off school for the Waverley A & P Show - the town's biggest event of the year.
Now an adult and the president of the Waverley A & P Association, she has planned a big celebration of the 100th show this year. Covid-19 restrictions may scuttle that completely.
"My concern is making sure it's a celebration worthy of that history, not something that's half-pie because of Covid.
"It's been quite trying, because I had big plans. Now I'm not sure I'm going to be able to deliver."
Show day is November 16. Morrison was organising the trade stalls, and they were looking big. She had planned for everything to stop at 11am for speeches and a cake cutting.
People would be in costumes, and at 11.30 a parade of animals including three Clydesdale horses, tractors and other vintage equipment would set off around the show oval - "what people would have been looking at over the decades".
It would be followed by a luncheon for invited guests, provided by supporters and using donations from businesses.
Former residents would come to town for the occasion, and she has made a video of residents talking about their show memories.
Joy Aiken, who remembered winning first prize for a drawing of a carrot, would have been the guest of honour, and the video would have played in a loop on a screen during the whole day.
The horse events would have started at 8.30am. Mahon's Amusements hasn't been at the show for the last two years and Morrison planned to have market stalls and a fun area in their place.
It would have a free bouncy castle and obstacle course for children and games and competitions set up by schools.
Under Covid-19 level 2 restrictions only 100 people can be on Dallison Park at a time, and the show can't run. Morrison is waiting until October 4 to hear whether Waverley will be in level 1 in November.
If not the 100th show celebrations will be postponed until next year and a limited version of the horse sports will take place on November 20, in tandem with November 21 horse events held at the Egmont A & P Show.
The horse sports are "manageable" with a limit of 100 people.
Morrison has heard at least eight shows across New Zealand have been cancelled - especially the earlier ones. Royal Agricultural Society CEO Debbie Cameron said there are 10, and for two it's the second year running.
Paul Mahon, who owns Mahon's Amusements and usually travels New Zealand adding attractions to the shows, is waiting to hear which ones will run. He's not sure what he will do if most of them are cancelled.
The first Waverley A & P Show was in 1908, Morrison said, and it has missed several years since then - for wars and once from a lack of people to organise it.
Covid-19 added extra difficulties this year - delays in getting ribbons printed, applications for funding declined and extra people needed to police restrictions.