COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of yet another event: Floriade – touted as Australia’s biggest celebration of spring – is off the calendar for 2020.
The ACT Government has announced the Territory’s annual flower festival will not take place this year, due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said today “after careful consideration, the ACT Government has decided not to proceed with Floriade and Floriade NightFest in Commonwealth Park this year”.
He said the Government could not be sure the immense preparation required for the annual event could comply with public health directives, such as distancing, with health and safety the utmost priority. This year’s festival, the 33rd instalment, was due to take place from 12 September to 11 October.
“Given the significant planning and coordination required for Floriade, the ACT Government is not assured that the event can be set up and staged in a manner that guarantees compliance with current physical distancing requirements,” he said.
“Our concern is for the health and safety of our staff, visitors and volunteers.”
Planning, preparing and planting for Floriade typically begins early in the year with a view to begin planting the bulbs in autumn, to ensure they are in full bloom for the beginning of the festival in September.
With the bulbs for this Floriade 2020 having been already secured, the ACT Government is now looking at how they can plant the flowers around the city for suburban displays come spring.
”We will take the opportunity with our Floriade team to keep them active and working to look at options to plant the bulbs around the city to improve our established garden beds and really make the city look fantastic at springtime,” Mr Barr said.
2020 will be the first year that Floriade has not gone ahead since its inception, coming off the back of a successful 2019 which broke attendance records with more than 507,000 people through the gates.