Committee ‘devastated’ by multimillion-dollar loss
AS A rising number of the region’s festivals and events become casualties of the coronavirus pandemic, one organising committee estimates the financial loss to the community will be colossal.
The Goomeri Pumpkin Festival committee planned to host its 24th extravaganza this year, before being forced to call it off.
Organiser Kim Boyter said she expected the local economy to take a multimillion-dollar financial hit from the event’s cancellation.
“If we use the equations and calculations the tourism bodies and councils use for calculating our festival’s value, we would be looking at losing a $2.6 million economical boost to our town and region,” Mrs Boyter said.
“Understandably we are all devastated.
“There are lots of people walking around with spare time on their hands and nothing to do with it.
“Although, we are a pretty positive bunch out here and we are working on a few different things that will help lift the spirits.
Remaining optimistic, Mrs Boyter said this year’s cancellation would not jeopardise the longevity of the festival.
“Initially, the attraction was to support a struggling town after a prolonged drought and the Pumpkin Festival is still going 24 years on,” she said.
“We still see the same caring and compassionate reasons for people returning to our town.
“Ultimately we offer our visitors country hospitality mixed with a good dose of fun, frivolity and pumpkin madness.
“We cater for all ages and it is basically a free event, so our visitors come for the food, the competitions, the fun but predominantly to be able to walk away and brag about how they rolled a pumpkin down the hill.”
Mrs Boyter said the 2021 Goomeri Pumpkin Festival would be the best one yet.
“We do have some plans for next year in the pipeline, but if I tell you I would have to kill you or someone would kill me,” she said jokingly.
“We will keep everybody updated with plans moving forward through our Facebook and website pages, so watch this space for more.
“It will be huge.”