COVID-19 forces cancellation of events
Due to New Zealand’s recent move into the red level of our COVID-19 traffic light framework, the Gore District Council has made the difficult decision to cancel the On the Fly Mataura River Festival for 2022.
Events Coordinator Jessica Swan said “We are deeply disappointed by this cancellation, however under the red level settings only 100 people maximum could attend the event, seated at one metre apart.”
“Given that the festival is a celebration of our river, fly fishing, giving new things a go and food, we felt this format would not enable us to deliver the true essence of the event. We look forward to hopefully being able to deliver an even bigger and better festival in 2023.”
Originally planned for Sunday 20 March, the event was set to see the return of celebrity chef Brett McGregor, along with a dedicated food tent for it’s first local ‘chef off’ competition.
“We really wanted to promote the fantastic produce and talent we have available in our District, with the chef off competition showcasing quality ingredients through mystery box challenges over quick-fire rounds,” Miss Swan said.
A group fishing license acquired for the day also meant anyone could have gone in the water and fished for trout during the event – another first for the festival.
“Our fishing guides were keen to take people into the river itself, so we were delighted when we were approved the license. Having moved the event to Walnut Grove, we would have been perfectly set up for people to really make the most of the river.”
Also affected by the level change is the Council’s planned event for Parks Week 2022.
Set to occur during the national Parks Week from 5 – 13 March, the event was a reimagining of last year’s very successful Enchanted Parks Quest.
“Thanks to the students at Gore High School, we are in great shape to run the event in 2023 instead with some fantastic native creepy crawlies for you to seek and find.” Miss Swan said.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support these events had received from our partners, sponsors, suppliers and attendees to date.”