Warrnambool's long-running community event, the Wunta Fiesta, won't go ahead next month because of fears over the rising cases of COVID in the community.
Organiser Donna Gladman said the committee was hoping to get an event up under the Wunta banner later in the year when there was less COVID around but there were no plans in the pipeline just yet.
"We're saying we're postponing and we're actually hoping that maybe we can run something under the Wunta banner later in the year. What that is, we don't know yet," she said.
"We've already had to cancel last year. We don't really want to say we're cancelling. We still want to stay positive that at some point we can do something.
"None of us want to see Wunta fade away. We still want to keep the Wunta banner flying."
Mrs Gladman said organisers decided not to go ahead with the two-day outdoor music event because of the impact it could have on businesses if COVID did spread.
"It wouldn't be very socially responsible for us to gather. Even though it is an outdoor event you've got everyone using the same facilities coming in and out of the same entry," she said.
"We would only be open to double vaxxed if we had run, but people who are double vaxxed are getting sick and passing it on.
"The pressure that is on businesses at the moment without staff, the hospital system and the testing sites.
"It doesn't look like it's going to be easing up in the next few weeks."
Mrs Gladman said volunteers had already put countless hours into planning the event which was to run on February 5 and 6.
"It's really disappointing that we have decided to do this but Warrnambool is not a big place and it's just spreading like wildfire and we don't want to be part of the reason it spreads further," she said.
After being cancelled in 2021, organisers had already scaled the 2022 event back to two days instead of three with just music events in the gardens on the line-up.
The Friday night food event on Liebig Street and the pancake breakfast was not going ahead and just Jazz in the Gardens on the Saturday and other music events on the Sunday were planned.
"We knew that it (COVID) wasn't going away but we didn't know that this was going to happen," Mrs Gladman said.
She said when things eased off with COVID they would look at what could be organised later in the year.
Mrs Gladman said some of the bands that were coming to the festival already had multiple outdoor gigs in Melbourne cancelled.
"I think we are going to see a lot of things be cancelled," she said.
"We've had it drummed into us for two years that the best thing we can do is stay away from people and stay at home.
"We want to do the safest event possible but we just don't see how we can do that right now."
Mrs Gladman said with people choosing to stay home they wouldn't get the numbers they needed to put on an event like Wunta, but the overriding issue was not putting anyone at risk.
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