Cowra’s latest Harvest in the Park was cancelled due to rain.Much needed rain on Friday night caused the cancellation of Cowra Tourism’s Harvest in the Park on Saturday, April 30.
To be held at Brougham Park, organisers had been prepared to run the markets if raining on the day but were unable to do so, given the heavy rain that soaked the park during the night before.
Acting Manager, Jenny Bell, was forced to make the tough call at 5am, in consultation with Cowra Council, due to the need to notify stallholders, many of whom travel long distances to arrive in time to set up at 7.30 am.
Ms Bell said that at 5am, it was still lightly showering and there were a number of considerations that led to cancellation.
Despite not being watered during the week before, a large section of the park around the Band Rotunda was so wet and soggy that it would have been impossible for at least 60 vehicles to access the site for set up and pack down. It would have immediately become muddy and boggy and was also the main pedestrian area for the site.
The wet condition of the ground and an uncertain weather forecast were both factors leading to cancellation of the event. Ms Bell said: “Even if site changes could have been made, there was no way of avoiding the water logged ground in such a high traffic area and safety considerations were also part of the decision.”
“Due to the weather forecast indicating a high risk of heavy rain on Friday night, a contingency plan had been considered for an alternative venue.
“The only covered area large enough is the Cowra Showground Pavilion and that option was unavailable as it was being prepared for the CWA NSW State Conference taking place this week.”
Ms Bell indicated that Cowra Tourism was extremely disappointed at having to cancel what had been anticipated to be the best ever Harvest in the Park.
“A number of stallholders had already independently made the decision not to come.
“Many stallholders I spoke to at the time of confirming cancellation, indicated that they weren’t surprised at having to call it off due to the heavy overnight rain and I was overwhelmed by how supportive they were, in the circumstances.
“Such a lot of money and hard work goes into preparing for markets, and then many travel long distances to attend as well.”
Unfortunately, due to logistics, there is no way of rescheduling Harvest in the Park until the next one planned for October 29, 2016.
“Many of our stallholders are only free to come to us on the 5th Saturday as they have fixed market commitments each Saturday of the month.
“We intend working with Cowra Council in planning more detailed wet weather contingencies for the October event,” Ms Bell said.
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