TWO more central Victorian towns will be left without an important community gathering, as more agricultural shows cancel their 2020 events.
Castlemaine and Heathcote agricultural shows both announced cancellation on Monday, after a COVID-19 case spike in Victoria.
Both events were scheduled for late October, early November.
Organisers of each show cited community and volunteer safety as their main reason to cancel.
It comes after the Bendigo Agricultural Show announced last week it would not run in 2020.
The cancellation has left Heathcote Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Society president Alan Harris feeling hollow.
Mr Harris said 2020 would be the first year of his life he had not attended the Heathcote show.
But he said the show could not risk the health of volunteers or the community.
About 800 to 1000 people attend the show each year, Mr Harris said.
Castlemaine and District Agricultural Society Committee secretary Debbie Hamilton said it was better to cancel now, than later.
Ms Hamilton said keeping the community safe was the committee's priority.
"We don't want to have an outbreak happen because we had our show, and someone passes away because we did," she said.
The committee decided to cancel on Friday, after discussions with the Midlands Group of shows.
Like Mr Harris, the town's annual show was a big part of Ms Hamilton's life.
"We're a bit sad. I'm a bit sad actually. I've been secretary 34 years," she said.
"It's what I do. I organise it, and I do everything for it. It's a big part of our lives, and the committee is the same."
Ms Hamilton said the show was everything for a small community like Castlemaine.
She said the entire community - sporting clubs, police, hot rodders, everyone - got involved in the Friday night carnival.
"It's bringing the community together and everyone just looks forward to it," she said.
"It's a night when everyone has fish and chips for tea, watches the street parade and heads to the showgrounds.
"Many families return to Castlemaine that weekend because it is show weekend."
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