Darkan Sheepfest postponed as organisers try to keep the community safe

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian
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Darkan Sheepfest has been cancelled this weekend.
Camera IconDarkan Sheepfest has been cancelled this weekend. Credit: Astrid Volzke

The fourth Darkan Sheepfest — planned for this Saturday — has been cancelled as organisers try to keep the community safe from COVID-19.

Event president Karen Prowse posted a notice to the Darkan Sheepfest Facebook page on Saturday, saying the committee had made the “right decision” to keep the community and visitors safe. 

She said the committee hoped to move the event to a later date this year to continue to hold “a good old fashioned country show”.

“The format may look a little different and some competitions may even need to be changed,” she said.

“We have had overwhelming support from sponsors, stakeholders and the general public.

“We thank you all for your kind words.”

The grassroots country event was held for the first time in February 2018 after the community decided to resurrect a similar show held in the town more than 60 years ago. 

Pulled together in just 13 weeks, the Sheepfest was designed to draw visitors and breathe life into the town located between Collie and Arthur River.

It was a roaring success, attracting more than 1000 people and effectively doubling the small town of Darkan’s population for the day of the event. 

It aims to showcase the community including sheep judging, shearing, food and markets, and plenty of fun for children.

This year’s event was set to include farm boot foot races, best pet sheep and sheep dog demos, a sports shearing competition, a young farmers challenge, a wool handling competition, a ewe hoggett competition, market stalls, a wool fashion parade, and much more.

It was also set to include a special presentation titled ‘Sheep Manure & More’ with gardening guru Sabrina Hahn.

Ms Prowse said it was vital to stay COVID safe and make sure everyone followed all the rules.

“Although, thankfully, social distancing doesn't apply if you are spending time with your sheep,” she said.

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