VIRTUAL APPEAL: Does your pet have what it takes for the Esk-Ipswich virtual pet show? FILE IMAGE
VIRTUAL APPEAL: Does your pet have what it takes for the Esk-Ipswich virtual pet show? FILE IMAGE

How your pooch could win big in virtual pet parade

SAD weeks lie ahead for lovers of local shows, with the planned dates of events beginning to slip by without events for the first time in many years.

Although agricultural shows have been cancelled for 2020, local show societies are keeping busy with substitute events, virtual judging and plans for 2021.

The Esk Show Society, whose show would have taken place at the weekend, has kept busy another way, teaming up with the Ipswich Show Society to joint-host a Virtual Pet Parade.

Participants are asked to send in a photo of their prized pet, along with a description of how their pet has helped them get through the COVID-19 restrictions.

As well as allowing the pet parade to still go ahead, the event hopes to raise awareness about the therapeutic benefits pets can have on mental health and raise funds to put more Therapy Dogs in hospitals.

The Pet Parade will be live-streamed, with winners receiving an official ribbon for their show – Esk or Ipswich – pet care gift vouchers and a pet food hamper.

More information and the entry form can be found here.

Gates are now OPEN to the Virtual Pet Parade. Help share and appreciate the mental health benefits our animals have on...

Posted by Esk Show Society on Friday, 22 May 2020

READ MORE: ‘There’s a void this week’: Town missing show spirit

The Toogoolawah Show Society in particular has been given plenty to celebrate, receiving $117,597 from the Government’s Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program.

Somerset Regional Council Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke said the money would allow the show to come back bigger than ever next year.

“This couldn’t have happened at a better time, when most show committees have cancelled or postponed their annual events,” she said.

“This grant will enable the show society to construct a new insulated roof at the front of the kitchen at the Toogoolawah Showgrounds, provide new security doors and windows for the kitchen and office, install airconditioning in the office, and install solar panels and upgrade kitchen equipment.”

The Toogoolawah Show Society was one of 122 groups to secure a grant, out of the 445 who applied.

READ MORE: Final local show pulls pin on 2020 event

Society president Vern Doyle said it was important for residents to continue supporting their local businesses, including those who sponsored the yearly show, which was set to take place on June 5 and 6.

“Now it is our turn to back them and support them through what will be a challenging time. We hope that you will support us by supporting them,” he said.

“We hope all our patrons stay safe and healthy through these challenging times and we look forward to seeing everyone for our next Toogoolawah Show.”