There was a tiny silver lining on Saturday following the cancellation of the annual Mil Lel Show.
While the sun shone on the picturesque, yet eerily empty showgrounds, a steady stream of vehicles passed through to support the Mil Lel Agriculture and Horticultural Society on what should have been their show day.
The show was cancelled early last week after harsh restrictions were imposed on the Mount Gambier, Grant District and Wattle Range council areas, following a positive COVID case in Mount Gambier.
While show organisers were able to return most of the goods they had purchased for the event, they were left with 300 showbags.
Society treasurer Liza Kirby said the community had rallied to support the group, which advertised the showbags for sale on their Facebook page, encouraging community members to collect them from the showgrounds on Saturday.
“It was a different day then what was originally expected but it was still nice to be around one another,” she said.
“We have had lots of community volunteers helping out and people buying showbags and donuts and ice creams from the Tantanoola Ice Cream Van.
“Our Facebook post selling showbags has been shared over 105 times reaching around 14,000 people.
“The outpouring of support has been heart-warming.
“We have been really well supported by our community, so we are extremely lucky and grateful.”
Mrs Kirby has praised the community for their support following the cancellation of the Mil Lel show.
“A lot of the businesses let us return unused produce so we are not nearly as badly affected as we initially thought we would be,” she said.
“A number of the sponsors and trade exhibiters have actually donated their site fees which will help cover insurance and things like that.”
Mrs Kirby said, despite restrictions easing on Friday, there was no way the show was able to go ahead.
“We had a phone call from SA Health on Friday afternoon saying our COVID management plan has not been reinstated so we still would not have been able to hold the show for 3000 people meaning we did not cancel for nothing,” she said.
“Unless you actually are in the Mil Lel community or have been involved in putting on an event you do not actually understand how devastating it is or that you cannot just put it on with a day’s notice.”