The Lismore show won't go on this year

THE North Coast National Agricultural and Industrial Society has been forced to cancel the 135th annual Lismore Show due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The long-running event is a popular attraction for families and tourists and had previously only been stopped during the world wars and in 1919 due to severe drought.

In a statement for the North Coast National Agricultural and Industrial Society, president John Gibson said the uncertainty created by the pandemic meant it was impossible to stage the show at the moment.

"Planning a show starts six months out, our exhibitors asked for clarity and we have been left with no alternative," Mr Gibson said in a statement.

The North Coast National Agricultural and Industrial Society secretary, Mark Bailey, said the decision was a difficult one to make but current circumstances meant the decision was inevitable.

"It's a very emotional decision, some of our board have been on the board for 30 years and they've never had to cancel a show," Mr Bailey said in an interview.

Mr Gibson said the situation could change dependent on changes to COVID-19 restrictions in the future.

"The show society board will continue to monitor the situation and if COVID restrictions were relaxed, than small section events may be possible," Mr Gibson said.

The Lismore Show is one of the biggest shows of its kind held in NSW, and provides a major boost to the local economy.

"We had a management study done last year through a federal government grant … the show itself brings in between 30 to 40 million dollars in direct income straight into Lismore," Mr Bailey said.

However, the society stressed that the cancellation of the Lismore Show would not affect other showground uses such as the farmers markets or Lismore go-kart club.

" It's the show that's cancelled, it does not impact on other showground activities," Mr Bailey said in an interview.

"Our Tuesday and Saturday markets are going strong and provide a valuable and essential food service for the local community."