Country shows are a cherished staple of any rural community but many are struggling to survive because of Mother Nature.
The bush fires and the on-going drought has forced the cancellation of 15 country shows from 175 across the state, a majority on the south coast.
But the quintessentially Australian spirit of refusing to be cowed is alive and well.
The NSW Government is sponsoring country shows in 2020 with $5000 grants to help assist with holding the event.
Money will be delivered quickly so operators can use it and organisers will be able to spend it with local businesses to help boost community coffers.
The Moss Vale Show Society was one of the recipients of the $5000 grant.
Secretary Edwina Grant said the show would still go on from March 20 to 22, despite the recent fires and floods.
"Autumn is a great time, summer is over and it's not as humid," Ms Grant said.
This year's show program includes live music performances, trade shows, demonstrations, fireworks, a ute muster, a farmyard nursery and a demolition derby.
With just over a month to go, Ms Grant said show volunteers were busy with final preparations at Moss Vale Showground.
"We were an evacuation centre during the fires, so we're fixing the stables and getting the grounds prepared," she said.
The committee still needs several volunteers to help set up the jump events on Thursday, March 19.
Ms Grant said anyone who would be interested in the role can contact her on 0416 032 086.
Meanwhile the Robertson Show will also run on March 13 and 14.
A show spokeswoman said committee members applied for the $5000 grant.
Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RASNSW) general manager for agriculture Murray Wilton said this the sponsorship grants would provide vital support for regional and rural communities.
"Country shows play such an important role in bringing people together, especially during times of adversity," Mr Wilton said.
"They are the largest social gathering for many in regional and rural areas, providing a much-needed break from the property, a chance to catch-up with old friends and a strong sense of community."
"By supporting our country shows you are supporting the social fabric of regional and rural NSW."
On the RASNSW website it has a bush fire emergency information and assistance page, which outlines that it was focusing on the recovery efforts required once the immediate threat of fire has passed.
"The road ahead will not be easy but it is during this time the RAS will continue its mission to support and help rebuild strong, vibrant and resilient rural and regional communities," the website said.
NSW Farmers' president James Jackson echoed Mr Wilton's sentiments saying country show were a "good gathering point" for country people as farming could sometimes be a "lonely" business.
"These shows are critical touch points for people to network for community spirit," Mr Jackson said.
Deputy Premier and Regional NSW Minister responsible for disaster recovery John Barilaro said in drought affected regions local businesses were struggling to find the money they would usually provide for sponsorship.
He added that the bush fires on the South Coast had resulted in cancelled shows where showgrounds had become evacuation centres.
"Country shows draw huge crowds which gives local businesses exposure and a chance to showcase products or increase sales, creating work for suppliers, keeping money flowing through towns," Mr Barilaro said.
"A morale boost and the additional economic stimulus provided by shows is what our regional communities need right now and we will be working with show organisers to get money out the door as quickly as possible to avoid further cancellations."
The sponsorship grants are available from the $170 million drought stimulus package.
A list of the shows that have been cancelled due to the bush fires:
- Albion Park
- Kiama Show
- Eurobodalla Show - a community family day was to be held on January 25.
- Berry Show
- Bundarra Show and Rodeo
- Cobargo Show
- Ashford Show
- Bemboka Show
- Lithgow 'Australia Day Summer Horse Event (January 26. The Lithgow Show (March 20-22) is still going ahead as scheduled.
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