Tuesday, April 23, 2024

COVID deflates balloon festival

Waipā District Council and Classic Events have made the difficult decision to cancel Balloons Visit Waipā due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Following the country’s move to the red traffic light setting, indoor and outdoor events are limited to 100 people and the use of vaccine passes are mandatory.

Waipā District Mayor, Jim Mylchreest said both had hoped that the event could go ahead on March 18 and were extremely disappointed to make the call to cancel.

“Given the uncertainty at this time, plus the added complications and risks that come with Omicron, we believe it is in the best interest for all involved to cancel,” he said.

We all wanted to hit the ground running in 2022 and offer up some amazing events for the community but ultimately the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, contractors and community is our priority.”

Mayor Mylchreest said due to the size and scale of the event, it would not have been not socially responsible to go ahead with the event under the Red setting.

“Given that the Omicron variant is now circulating in Waipā, cancelling Balloons Visit Waipā is the right and most responsible decision.”

Managing Director of Classic Events Ltd, Michele Connell said it was extremely disappointing to not to be able to bring the Balloons to Waipā this year.

“We are hopeful of delivering a very different look event within the current Protection Framework. This however will need to be Hamilton based to adhere to Government guidelines under the Red setting, but we are hopeful for a return to Waipā in 2023,” Ms Connell said.

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