A rare cancellation of the historic Hawke's Bay A and P Show is a possibility because of financial risk without funds to match an $80,000 Government grant which propped up the show last year.
A and P Society general manager Sally Jackson said the support, which had come from a Covid-19 crisis Domestic Events Fund, is not available to the events industry this year.
The show, which in 2013 celebrated 150 years as one of Hawke's Bay's biggest annual events, is due to be held on October 20-22.
The last day is the Hawke's Bay Anniversary Day public holiday, but the Mahon
Amusements and sideshow carnival will extend into Labour Weekend.
Jackson says the society is still hoping to return to a normal show, following the pandemic alert limitations of last year's big event, but it wouldn't want to risk people's safety, or potentially "become a superspreader".
The executive meets to review the show's situation each week after "digesting" the Government's latest announcements.
But a lack of certainty means there will have to be an early decision for the financial wellbeing of all of those with a stake in the show – from the society's own expenses to those of trade exhibitors, travelling competitors, marquee, fencing, staging, sound equipment and other equipment hire companies, and food and beverage providers.
A cancellation would also have a significant impact on 10 to 15 volunteer organisations which have earned funds annually from working in various aspects during the three days on the 42 hectares of the showgrounds the society owns off Karamu and Elwood Roads on the northeastern outskirts of Hastings.
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Jackson said that without the funding the society doesn't have the "reserves" to make up for the loss pf revenue from gate-takings if a show were held without the paying customers, which have in peak years numbered over 30,000.
"If we don't have the revenue we'd be putting ourselves (the society) at financial risk," she said. "We're not alone. It is a very hard time, but we are very hopeful."
The society is trying to maintain good communication with all stakeholders, amid the difficulty of not having the certainty of what would be happening.
Also in the pool are other A and P shows, notably the Poverty Bay A and P Show in Gisborne a week earlier kicking off the show circuit in the eastern and lower North Island region.
The events include the Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show in Waipukurau, scheduled for November 11-13.
There are, however, some signs already of the show going on with judges this week having tasted more than 300 entries in the 21st Hawke's Bay A & P Bayleys Wine Awards, now an annual prelude to the show and due to be celebrated at a gala dinner on October 14.
The judging took place at the EIT, Taradale, and Jackson said that if the pandemic alerts mean the dinner and presentations can't go ahead on the chosen date they would be postponed until a time when the function could cater for its usual attendance of about 400.