The pandemic has killed another big event on Southwestern Ontario’s farming calendar, a three-day trade show that normally draws thousands to Woodstock each fall.
Organizers of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show had hoped to pull off an in-person version of the exhibition in September, but say that between ”the lingering state of the pandemic” and the rollout of mass vaccinations in the province, such an event isn’t viable this year.
Ontario last month entered the second-phase reopening of its economy from a two-month spring shutdown and stay-at-home order imposed as new daily cases of COVID-19 soared above 3,000.
New cases have since subsided to a fraction of that, but large-scale crowd events are still not permitted.
Digital events associated with the Woodstock show will still go ahead as planned, organizers said. Details can be found at outdoorfarmshow.com
The Woodstock show, which typically attracts 40,000 visitors and hundreds of exhibitors, is among several large agricultural trade shows held each year in Southwestern Ontario, home to one of Canada’s richest farm belts, that have been cancelled since the pandemic began 16 months ago.
COVID-19 has also played havoc with Ontario’s largest farm show, the International Plowing Match (IPM) held each fall. A tent city combining the latest in agricultural technology and trends with plowing competitions, the event moves around Ontario.
The pandemic nixed both the 2020 version of that event, which had been planned in Lindsay, near Peterborough, and a rescheduled version in the same location that had been set for this October.
The Ontario Plowmen’s Association, which organizes the event, says the next IPM will be held in September 2022 in Kemptville, in eastern Ontario.
- The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press