‘Great disappointment’ as recheduled Devon County Show is cancelled because of social distancing

Devon County Show organisers have announced ‘with great disappointment’ the decision to cancel the 2020 event because of the coronavirus.

The pandemic had prompted the annual May event to be rescheduled and held over the August bank holiday, but yesterday it was decided to cancel the 2020 Devon County Show.

The show plans to return next year, taking place on May 20, 21, and 22, 2021, said the Devon County Agricultural Association (DCAA).

Organisers said the move to cancel was triggered by social distancing rules and restrictions on large gatherings.

Mary Quicke, chair of council for the Agricultural Association said: “With the Government’s suggestion that social distancing will continue for some time yet, and no firm commitment as to when the restriction on large gatherings will be lifted, the association has sadly had to make this extremely difficult decision.

“We appreciate this will be a great disappointment to our agricultural community, traders, competitors and, of course, the thousands of visitors who attend our show every year, all of whom love the show as much as we do.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their support and understanding in these extraordinary times.

“However, we are confident we have made the right decision in the circumstances and must put the welfare of everyone associated with the show above all else.”

The Devon County Show began in 1872 and was due to celebrate its 125th anniversary at the 2020 event.

Mrs Quicke said: “Of course, the cancellation will have consequences for us financially, along with many of our exhibitors and sponsors, but we’re confident we can ride this storm and bounce back again next year.”

The Devon County Show craft and garden section’s Guinness World Record attempt to create the longest knitted bunting will be measured as soon as is practically possible.

The bunting will be hung at the 2021 show and auctioned off to raise money for various charities, including The Addington Fund.

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