The Ballarat Show has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Scheduled to be held on November, 13, 14 and 15, the three-day event will not run.
It is the first time since World War II that the show will not be held.
"It's really disappointing that we've had to do this," she said.
"I think every society has had to make the same decision, it's more about the public and keeping them safe.
"We would hate to open up a show only to have people coming in with the virus and passing it onto other people... it would be a disaster.
"Our goal is to keep the people of Ballarat safe and healthy and not running the show is one way that we can contribute towards that."
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Looking forward, Mrs van Beek said the society would continue to explore uses for the showgrounds for the benefit of the community and to help make up for the huge financial blow now holding the show will bring.
"We'll definitely be putting our thinking caps on as we look towards the future. We've already started looking towards some major events however we'll just have to see how we go.
"We're going to sit down and think about how the showgrounds can be used in a way that engages the public and in a way that brings money into the society as well, because this is a huge blow financially.
"It's hard to say how much money we're going to lose without a show, but it's a lot of money."
The society will receive some funding however, with $300,000 in funding to be shared by 39 different agricultural and pastoral societies across the state as part of the 2019-20 Agricultural and Pastoral Society Grants Program.
The decision to cancel the show was made last week according to Mrs van Beek. She added after seeing the recent spike in cases throughout Victoria, it was simply not worth taking the risk of holding the long-running event in any fashion.
It just goes to show that the virus is not something to be played with, it's not something to be taken lightly.Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society executive officer Elizabeth van Beek
"People's health, especially with our volunteers, a lot of which are older people, is the number one priority. We would hate to put them at risk for any reason."
The abandonment of the event will reignite the perennial debate of the public holiday in Ballarat.
Mrs van Beek said the society has contacted the City of Ballarat and hopes the public holiday will be removed.
The show had been the preferred option of the council in recent years, as opposed to the Melbourne Cup.
With shadows cast over a number of events later in the year, including the Cup, the public holiday issue is sure to fire up once more.
"Due to the fact that there will not be a show we would like to give the council the opportunity to make alternative arrangements for the Friday public holiday for this year," Ms van Beek continued.
"By doing this the society hopes that local businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19 will have an opportunity to recoup some revenue in the lead up to the Christmas shopping period."
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