Virus cancels festival

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The Harvey Harvest Festival was cancelled last week in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Camera IconThe Harvey Harvest Festival was cancelled last week in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: David Charlesworth

Organisers were forced to cancel the iconic Harvey Harvest Festival planned for Sunday following medical advice handed down by the Federal Government.

In a further blow to the Harvey community Harvey Agricultural Show organisers have also confirmed that the show, planned for April 4, will not go ahead.

Several events across the South West have also been cancelled due to COVID-19 fears, such as the Myalup Easter Fair, Bunbury’s Melanoma March and the Mandurah Crab Fest.

The harvest festival last year attracted more than 14,000 people and also plays host to the State Grape Stomping Championship.

Festival committee president Joe Capogreco said committee members had been discussing whether to cancel the event when they heard a Federal Government order to cancel all mass gatherings of 500 or more people from Monday onwards.

“Our focus is now on the festival for 2021,” Mr Capogreco said.

Despite the event set to be held on Sunday, one day before the Federal health advice came into effect, organisers believed it was too risky to go ahead.

“I would feel terrible if we went ahead and people got sick because they caught this virus at our festival,” Mr Capogreco said.

“Precautions have to be taken.”

Mr Capogreco said ultimately it was up to government and health authorities to make these decisions.

“This is a step put in place by the Government to make sure we have all the right checks and balances in place,” Mr Capogreco said.

“We are so lucky we live in a country where the Government is willing to put these steps in place.”

He thanked the volunteers and community members who had worked tirelessly planning for the past 12 months.

“The sad thing is we have a lot of people who have worked hard on this event and now we are not going to have it,” he said, adding that a lot of food had been ordered for the event.

“We will now decide how we go about distributing and donating the food and produce we purchased,” Mr Capogreco said.

“There are a lot of people in need who this fresh produce could go to.

“We don’t want it to be wasted.”

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