News

Elmore Field Days cancelled due to COVID-19

By Alex Gretgrix

ELMORE residents will not be having a field day in 2020.

The district is set to be hit hard after it was announced the Elmore Field Days would not go ahead, due to the pandemic.

The committee made the announcement on July 7, having left the decision to cancel as late as possible in the hope the COVID-19 situation might have eased.

Many local businesses and even schools benefit from the event, as they set up stalls and work hard over the three days.

“We provide workers to help with catering and we're also a part of the waste management team,” Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Elmore principal Elizabeth Trewick said.

Students and family members would meet each evening to put bins out for collection and then put them back before collecting and washing them and picking up rubbish after the event.

Without this event, the school will lose a considerable amount of money.

“In 2019, OLSH received over $9000 for their efforts at the Elmore Field Days, which is by far the largest return for our work for some time,” Ms Trewick said.

“The field days is an integral part of our community, not only for fundraising but it's also an opportunity to teach our students that by working together they reap the rewards.”

Each year, the event also brings a considerable amount of buzz and profit to not only Elmore, but many of the surrounding towns.

“It really is a shame and a big loss for everyone in surrounding towns as well,” Rochester Business Network president Glenda Nichol said.

“A lot of people come and stay and spend money in Rochester and other places such as Lockington and Colbinabbin, so to lose this event is huge for everyone.”

Due to the government restrictions, uncertainty around running events and the current outbreaks, it was clear the decision needed to be made to cancel the event for the first time.

“While it is disappointing we can't run this year, there are two major risks we can't take as a community,” committee president Derek Shotton said.

“One is the ramifications it would have on the community if the field days goes broke if
we committed to run — costing a massive amount of money — then were forced to cancel at the last minute.

“The second is that if we ran and it caused an outbreak in our community.”

While the decision marks the first time the Elmore Field Days have been cancelled fully since they began in 1964, the final day of the 1975 event was cancelled due to floods.

The Elmore Field Days will return in October 2021.