For just the third time in its 143 year history, the iconic Royal Queensland Show, or Ekka, has been cancelled – this time, as result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ekka, was due to be held from August 7 until the August 16, and is the state’s largest event.
Organisers initially said they would not make a decision about the event’s future until June, but that was brought forward after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said COVID-19 restrictions would remain in place for at least six months.
The Ekka began in 1876 and has since been held every year with only two exceptions – in 1919 due to the Spanish Flu epidemic and in 1942 when the grounds were used as a World War II staging depot.
The RNA showgrounds could again be used for a similar purpose – a makeshift hospital to ensure there are enough beds if the crisis escalates.
Ms Palaszczuk said she fully supported the difficult decision to cancel the event.
“My niece burst into tears when she heard that,” she said.
“Can I say to the mums and dads, the EKKA will be back next year bigger and better than before, and I know it’s going to be hard for a lot of families who look forward to it every year.
“But we are in a crisis situation at the moment, so we need to make sure that we are looking after everybody and stopping the spread.”
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