“Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions around large scale events once we emerge out of lockdown, and in the best interests of keeping the community safe and healthy, Council and the event organisers cannot proceed with the festival,” Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Kim O’Keeffe said.
The Fryers Street Food Festival is a favourite on the events calendar for locals and visitors to enjoy outdoor dining, produce stalls, bars and live entertainment in the heart of Shepparton’s food strip, Fryers Street.
Unfortunately due to the restrictions of COVID-19 the festival could not occur last year either. Past years have seen thousands travel to experience a variety of meals, sweets and treats on offer, contributing significantly to the local economy.
“We would love nothing better than to provide the opportunity for people to gather and share in all that the Fryers Street Food Festival has to offer. When I reflect on the success of the 2019 event it makes me even more determined to provide a celebration for our community and showcase our rich offerings of food, beer, wine and music. At the moment the health and safety and of our community and businesses is paramount and I just hold on to the hope that we can all celebrate when the time is right,” said co-event organiser Liz Connick and founder of Your Project Partner.
“Though it's disappointing the festival cannot happen again this year, the safety and wellbeing of attendees and the traders is our highest priority. We have big dreams for the festival and hope to realise them as soon as possible. For now we encourage the region to shop local, spend what you can here and invest in the future of the GV. Promote the Goulburn Valley to friends and family, and when the time comes help us to spread the word far and wide about Fryers Street Food Festival so that the festival's success can ripple through the region and help boost our economy,” said co-event organiser Jamie Lea and director of JL Production and Hire.
The current lock down will hit the local visitor economy industry hard and Council encourages eligible businesses to seek support through the Victorian Government Business Support Packages.
“Fryers Street is still the home to many wonderful restaurants, cafes and retail businesses that continue to provide COVID safe services. We encourage the community to support local businesses where possible through take-away, click and collect and purchasing vouchers so our businesses will be able to open their doors once restrictions ease,” said Cr O’Keeffe.
Council and event organisers will continue to monitor the latest health and safety guidelines for future events on the calendar and will adapt where necessary.
For the latest COVID-19 information, visit our COVID-19 information page.