CANCELLED: COVID ends Blackbutt Bazaar before it begins
IN A tragic turn of events, the Top of the Blackbutt Range Bazaar, Boutique and Local Produce markets are the latest COVID casualty this year.
The boutique market was set to replace to the Avocado Festival, as a smaller, more-COVID friendly alternative to the popular annual event. The Blackbutt Avocado Festival has been growing for ten years and was set for another huge year before organisers were forced to pull the plug.
Addressing devastated locals via Facebook yesterday, Chairman Jeff Connor said despite the financial strain on sellers, the recently elevated safety risk posed by COVID-19 is too great to ignore.
“We have taken the financial risk and burden to deliver an event in these uncertain times, and today we announce the uncertainty that COVID-19 continues to deliver has outweighed the gain we had intended to bring to our town of Blackbutt,” Mr Connor said.
“Therefore we are cancelling the Top of the Blackbutt Range Bazaar, Boutique and Local Produce markets on October 4.
“The new event was put together by the committee of the Blackbutt Avocado Festival in an effort to boost confidence and support local businesses; as well as those people who use the markets as an outlet to sell their goods and wares.
“However, when the South Burnett was identified as a region requiring to increase restrictions, the confidence of our community took another hit, and so did some of the confidence from travellers looking to make the South Burnett home for the October long week.”
Despite having put together a CovidSAFE plan for the event, the increasing number of cases in surrounding areas, including Toowoomba, forced the committee to re-evaluate whether the risk of holding the event was still greater than the reward.
“If there is one thing the community can be assured about, it’s that our committee has not given up, we won’t give up; we continue to work to deliver greater good to our town,” Mr Connor said.
“There is a next event we look to, a next Avocado festival, and even a Big Avocado on the horizon. We always work towards the horizon, that’s what event organisers do, it’s certainly what the Blackbutt Avocado Festival committee do.”