THE Chinchilla Melon Festival committee has announced it’s made the “difficult” decision to cancel next year’s event due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions across the country.
Tipped to bring over 20,000 visitors to the Western Downs, organisers said it was “too risky” for the region to go ahead with the festival given the country-wide outbreak.
“Many predicted this news was coming, but we are still devastated to announce we’re postponing our event for another year,” the committee said in a statement.
The event was originally scheduled for February 2021 and then postponed to February 2022 however, the unknowns for large mass gatherings, snap lock downs, and travel restrictions made organising and planning the event difficult for committee members.
The Chinchilla Melon Festival was first held in 1994 and has grown into the world’s biggest melon festival.
The festival is a well received promotion for melon growers and the wider Chinchilla district, with events held during the festival to raise funds.
Profits from each Melon Festival go back to the community as well as into the fund for the next event.
The committee said Chinchilla Melon Festival would be back to celebrate its 15th event on February 16-19, 2023.
Founding committee member Darryl O’Leary (pictured) said: “It is important that we continue to recognise melon farmers and local businesses in the region, despite not being able to hold the event next year.”
“We appreciate all the support shown to us to date, and we encourage everyone to support the Chinchilla region and Melon Industry in any way, as we look forward to a bigger and better festival in 2023.”
Chinchilla Melon Festival Committee members will continue to meet monthly in the lead up to the next festival just 16 months away. All those who are interested are welcome to attend.
To keep up to date with plans for the 2023 Chinchilla Melon Festival visit www.melonfest.com.au.