The Devon County Show has been moved from May until August in a bid to help halt the spread of coronavirus.
The Devon County Show’s 125th anniversary event has been postponed until the summer, with the event planned to go ahead over the bank holiday weekend, on August 28, 29 and 30.
The board of directors of three major agricultural events in the South West – Devon County Show, The Royal Bath & West Show and The Royal Cornwall Show, today announced the postponement of the trio of events because of the COVID-19 pandemic and risk of virus spread.
The organisers of the three shows said it was ‘clear’ from government advice that coronavirus would still be active in region during May and June, when the shows are traditionally held.
The spring events will now be held in the summer and early autumn.
The Royal Bath & West Show will be held on Friday, July 31, August 1 and 2.
The Devon County Show’s new dates are Friday, August 28, Saturday, 29 and Sunday, 30.
The Royal Cornwall Show is now on Thursday, September 10, 11 and 12.
The move to reschedule the shows has been done to protect visitors, traders and exhibitors from the spread of the virus, organisers said.
The boards of each show postponing the events said it had been an ‘extremely difficult decision to make’.
They said they ‘appreciate the disruption and disappointment the postponement may cause’, but added ‘it has been unanimously agreed that the shows’ absolute priorities must lie, at this time of uncertainty, with the protection of public health’.
Show organisers thanked the public, traders, competitors and sponsors for their understanding and patience during this period of uncertainty and what is an unprecedented situation.
As part of anniversary celebrations, Devon County Show organisers are still keen to hear from descendants of members, exhibitors and competitors from the first two events held back in 1872 and 1873.
Richard Maunder, Devon County Agricultural Association secretary said:
“Obviously we are very disappointed to have to postpone the 125th Devon County Show, particularly given that it marks such a momentous milestone in our history.
“However, we hope that all of our visitors, traders and exhibitors will understand the unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves, and our duty to put the health of our public first and foremost.
“We look forward to welcoming you all to a spectacular celebration of Devon rural life through the ages, but on this occasion over the bank holiday weekend in August.
“We are still on the hunt for descendants of members, exhibitors and competitors from our first two shows back in 1872 and 1873. Please continue to step forward and make yourselves known to us.”
He added: “If you are unable to make our event, please do support our friends – The Royal Bath & West in Somerset and The Royal Cornwall Show.”