March 28, 2019
Goomeri Show Society is doing some soul-searching following disappointing attendance figures at this year’s show.
President Lyle Hasselbach had been hoping attendance would pick up for the night entertainment on Saturday, which included a motorbike stunt show and fireworks.
“But it was very, very quiet,” he told southburnett.com.au.
The show was officially opened by Gympie councillor Glen Hartwig who assured his small audience that Gympie Council doesn’t forget about Goomeri.
“The regions are the heartbeat of Gympie,” he said.
“When we get the regions to grow – Goomeri and Kilkivan – Gympie grows automatically.”
Speaking at the opening, Lyle said he was pleasantly surprised by the stud cattle and the effort the exhibitors had put into coming to the show but he warned that if the community didn’t support the show, there wouldn’t be a show in future.
Lyle has mulled over a number of reasons during the past few days about why the event didn’t fire this year, but said he could not pinpoint one.
“We made a decision last year that apparently a lot of people weren’t happy about. Two things could not be held at the grounds on the same weekend,” Lyle said.
“But yesterday I got phone calls from a couple of people. They realise now that one event wasn’t able to be held. Hopefully, now with the whole story being known, all the facts, it might make a difference.”
Lyle also pointed to the fact that Goomeri as a town had changed.
“I used to know everyone in town, now there are people here that just seem to stay at home,” he said.
“I have also seen a report that the locals didn’t know the show was on.
“We can’t figure that out. There are 160-180 kids at Goomeri School. They entered things in competitions …”
Another blow for the Show Society was the news a few weeks earlier that the Showmen’s Guild wouldn’t be bringing amusement rides to this year’s show.
While this meant the organisers had to arrange their own rides, it also means the Show Society can now pick its own date for next year’s event, which will be the 80th for the town.
There’s other things that could change, too.
For example, it could become a day show only – keeping the horses and cattle – with no expensive night entertainment.
“We can’t go on spending that amount of money,” Lyle said.
The Show Society committee now plans to gather together all the facts and figures for a debriefing meeting, probably after the Pumpkin Festival.
“We will throw all the eggs into the mix, and see what we come up with,” Lyle said.
“The easy thing would be to close up, but that’s not the right attitude to have.
“There would be no benefits in doing that at all but time will tell what happens.
“We don’t want to shut up shop. It would have a big impact on the town.”