Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Deniliquin’s annual Spring Rally is officially cancelled.
The long-running event’s organising committee — members of the Deniliquin Collectors Club — were waiting as long as they could to make a decision, but had no other choice when NSW lockdown rules were extended until at least September 10.
The rally, which is a haven for collectors of all types of things and machinery lovers alike, was to be held at Deniliquin’s Memorial Park showgrounds on September 18 and 19.
‘‘We held off making a decision one way or another as long as we could, and then the world changed again,’’ Rally secretary Daryl Whateley said.
‘‘Time is needed to properly host an event, and time is needed to arrange any necessary cancellations.
‘‘With the extension of lockdown, we simply ran out of time.
‘‘Even if lockdown is lifted on September 10, and we don’t really know if it will be, it would be too tight a timeframe to get something together.
‘‘It is unfortunate, but we knew we only had half a chance this (holding an event) would work. We took a chance, but it didn’t work.
‘‘We are obviously saddened, but it is far more important to keep our community safe.’’
It is the second year in a row the Spring Rally has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the last being the 15th annual event in 2019.
The rally normally incorporates stationary engine displays, a swap meet, a collectables pavilion, and static displays or tractors and cars.
A popular part of the rally each year is the tractor trek, where collectors shuffle out of Memorial Park on an excursion somewhere close to town for part of the day.
Mr Whateley said if restrictions allow, a trek may still be organised for the weekend of the 18th and 19th.
‘‘If lockdown does ease, we will organise something for our members.
‘‘It would also be a spectacle for the community to see.
‘‘But with the situation worsening in Victoria, and New South Wales (COVID case) numbers not easing, we’re not sure what we can do.
‘‘In the meantime, we thank everyone who has supported the Deniliquin Collectors Club to get this far.’’
The Deniliquin Collectors Club Spring Rally is always scheduled for the third weekend in September.
Mr Whateley said the club holds on to hope that the world will look different by the time next year’s event rolls around.