A NUMBER of Craven’s shows and annual events hope to go ahead this year after being forced to cancel last year through the Covid pandemic.

While the district's largest one day highlight - Kilnsey Show & Sports - remains optimistic that this year’s event scheduled for Tuesday, August 31, will go ahead, Gargrave Show organisers, for example, have taken the difficult decision to pull out and instead start preparations for next year. Others are forging ahead with arrangements, barring any last-minute surprises.

For Kilnsey, like all the other district fixtures, last year’s annual highlight fell victim to the global crisis although a varied cross-section of virtual online classes helped ensure that the famous show was staged in at least some format.

Ahead of the 2021 preparations, an upbeat show chairman Chris Windle said: “At our recent meeting, despite the latest Government announcement concerning the extension of restrictions, the management committee unanimously agreed to continue to plan for our 2021 showcase as though is going ahead.

“We feel comfortable in taking this decision because a great deal of forward planning is already in place which, if future restrictions permit, will enable us to run the show in a Covid-safe manner.

"The health and wellbeing of all concerned – exhibitors, officials, judges, trade stands, members of the public and the local community – remains our number one priority.”

A number of actions already in place include the creation of more space on the showground for those attending, such as a one-way system and restrictions on the number of people allowed in marquees. Sanitising facilities, plus additional security and stewarding will also be put in place.

One important change this year is that the luncheon marquee for vice-presidents will not be in operation due to the huge numbers normally catered for under one roof. This is another Covid-safe measure, although arrangements will be made for all to access food and drink.

For the first time this year, an advance online ticket sales facility will be offered, which will assist in determining potential visitor numbers ahead of the show if circumstances dictate the maximum number of people that will be allowed to attend.

However, general paid-for admission at the gate will remain available, again dependant on online demand for advance tickets, with special discounts available as an added incentive for early bookers.

The society is holding another committee meeting on Thursday, July 15, following the next Government announcement on potential further relaxations of restrictions, when organisers should be in a better position to hopefully press ahead with added confidence for what remains the ever-popular traditional finale to the annual Yorkshire Dales agricultural show season and this year the 124th Kilnsey Show & Sports.

In the interim, organisers are revamping the www.kilnseyshow.co.uk website to incorporate the advance online ticket sales booking facility, plus all other relevant information concerning the 2021 highlight, including the show schedule, full details of classes, how to enter, closing dates, plus terms and conditions of entry.

New secretary Abigail Eggleston is looking forward to her first ‘live’ show and is currently best contacted by email at info@kilnseyshow.co.uk while expressions of interest for those requiring trade stands should be made via a standalone email - tradestands@kilnseyshow.co.uk

The organisers of Malham Show say they fully expect their show on August 28 to go ahead this year and are having a committee meeting on July 5.

Rob Thacker said: “We are planning for a show and have paid a marquee deposit and printed schedules, but will wait until the government announcement on July 19 before we fully press the button.”

As for Horton-in-Ribblesdale Show, a decision whether this year’s event is going ahead this year will be taken following a meeting on July 20.

The show secretary said this was the latest they could wait to get everything organised and an announcement will be made after the meeting.

Sadly for the district’s remaining large annual events, a decision to cancel has already been made.

Bentham will not be staging its agricultural show but aims to return in 2022. Gargrave Show, too, is a casualty for the second year in a row as organisers took the difficult decision not to press ahead while Burnsall Feast Sports has also announced it won’t be staging its event on August 21 this year.