Burrangong Picnic Races cancelled for 2020

Lauren Payne, Emily Rozyn, Liz Knauer, Trish Webb and Bonnie Robinson at the 2019 Burrangong Picnic Races. Photo: Penny Le Poidevin
Lauren Payne, Emily Rozyn, Liz Knauer, Trish Webb and Bonnie Robinson at the 2019 Burrangong Picnic Races. Photo: Penny Le Poidevin

The Burrangong Picnic Races committee has voted unanimously in favour of cancelling this year's event due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Picnics at Toompang Racecourse generally attracts close to 2000 people each year, some regular racegoers travelling from Sydney, a known area of the state at the moment with COVID-19 hotspots.

Despite there being an option to host the event, Burrangong Picnic Race committee president Tom Wills said it was important to maintain the event's reputation of being a fun, social outing, as well as protect the community from a potential outbreak of COVID-19.

The races were scheduled for Saturday, October 10, 2020.

"We did have an option to hold it but we just couldn't hold an event that we thought people would remember, and one that people have enjoyed so much over the years," he said.

"We thought about the fact we bring in so many people from out of town, a lot from Sydney, and we didn't want to take that risk. It's more about peace of mind for the community and we didn't want people to think next year 'well that was no good' because we had to cap numbers, not have a jumping castle, no fashions on the field, and all things that make our event a great family day out."

Racing at Toompang Racecourse at the 2019 Burrangong Picnics. Photo: Penny Le Poidevin

Racing at Toompang Racecourse at the 2019 Burrangong Picnics. Photo: Penny Le Poidevin

He also noted how difficult it would be to ensure patrons are supporting public health requirements like social distancing.

"We usually have about 1500 to 2000 people. One of the rules would have been that you had to sit to have a drink. Imagine having to tell 1500 people to sit down. It's a social event, people are there to mingle and have fun so it just wouldn't be possible."

The Burrangong Picnic Race committee turn their focus to organising next year's bi-annual fundraiser and the 2021 Picnic Races.

"Fingers crossed everything returns to normal next year. It's disappointing but every other event has had to cancel so we have to toe the line, we don't want to be the event to let everyone down," Mr Wills added.

The Harden Picnic Race Club also cancelled its event due to restrictions and procedures the club would have to follow on race day.


It was scheduled for October 24.

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