The 2021 Good Old Days Festival due to be held on October 2-3 at Barellanwill not go ahead for the second time due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in NSW and interstate.
The Barellan Working Clydesdale Committee made the decision on August 5 to cancel the 12th annual festival.
Secretary Fiona Kibble said the unknowns for large mass gatherings, snap lockdowns, and border restrictions made organising and planning the event difficult.
“We are devastated for our small community of Barellan, our hard working committee, volunteers, exhibitors and visitors,” Fiona said.
“We regrettably made this decision in the light of protecting the welfare of all those involved with the event.
“Our event relies on volunteers and visitors coming from every state in Australia to make it the success it is, and whether state borders will be open is yet to be decided.”
Ms Kibble appealed to exhibitors and ticket holders to be patient as their refunds or rollovers to the 2022 event be determined.
However, a Clydie Art Trail around the Narrandera Shire will go ahead from September 1.
More than 170 large and small wooden silhouettes of Clydesdales are being decorated by business houses, schools, art groups and individuals to create a festive atmosphere in Barellan, Binya, Narrandera and Leeton, and celebrate our pioneering heritage.
Ms Kibble said an art trail map would be developed so visitors could take a self-drive tour to see the Clydie Art Trail.
Another COVID casualty is the annual MND Tribute to the Teams Drive, a fundraiser for Motor Neurone Disease, which was due to be held in late September.
The drive comprises horse, bullock, donkey, camel and mule teams following old stock routes for around 100km, and sleeping under the stars each night to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease awareness and research.
Ms Kibble said a refurbished kitchen in the Carroll Pavilion and new amenities block would be ready for the 2022 Good Old Days Festival on October 1-2.
Master horseman Bruce Bandy has also stepped down as president after 12-and a-half-years, and was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by the committee. He will take on the role of Horse and Teams Event Manager.
The Good Old Days Festival drew a record crowd of 7500 in 2019 and has grown into the Narrandera Shire’s biggest event valued at $1.8 million to the regional economy.
It has been billed as the greatest gathering of harnessed animals in Australia and features the nation’s biggest composite team of 32 horses pulling the Clydesdale committee’s own fully laden wool wagon.
The Festival also incorporates the annual Furphy Festival, which draws enthusiasts from around the country to see some of the nation’s rarest collectible water carts on display.
The 2021 Good Old Days Festival at Barellan has been rescheduled to October 1-2, 2022.
Media contact: Barellan Working Clydesdale Committee secretary Fiona Kibble on 0447 736 856