Armidale's annual Autumn Festival celebration has been cancelled this year, due to continuing NSW Government COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor events.
In a statement on Wendesday, Armidale Regional Council said it had been working tirelessly to find alternative solutions to bring the community a COVID-Safe festival without compromising the spirit of the long-running event.
However, Council has not been able to find a format that aligns with the current government restrictions while upholding the unique atmosphere of the festival.
Mayor Ian Tiley said the Autumn Festival was a favourite on the community events calendar and had had a long and successful tradition for over 28 years.
"Council has been working with a number of community groups to develop a COVID-Safe plan in a controlled environment, to monitor numbers and ensure compliance, but unfortunately attendance capacity restrictions on outdoor events have made it impossible to manage safely, particularly the parade," Cr Tiley said.
"We didn't want to be restricted by attendance capacities and it didn't feel right to have to turn festival-goers away from a community event once the capacity was reached."
He said the council would like to thank the Armidale Showground Reserve Trust, Armidale City Band, Armidale Pipe Band, Armidale Community Farmers' Market, Classic and Specialist Car Club of Northern NSW, Armidale Antique Machinery Club and John Castle Entertainment for assisting in this year's preparations.
"Let's hope next year we can run the Autumn Festival as we usually do with large crowds lining the streets to watch the wonderful parade and participate in all the associated activities held during the Autumn Festival weekend celebrations," Cr Tiley said.
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