The 2018 Gladstone Harbour Festival Great raft Race.
The 2018 Gladstone Harbour Festival Great raft Race.

Organisers 'devastated' to cancel popular Easter festival

GLADSTONE Harbour Festival organisers were devastated to announce the cancellation of the 58th festival due to the spread of Covid-19.

Gladstone Festival and Events made the announcement via Facebook early Tuesday night.

The decision was made in line with the Federal Government and the chief medical officer's advice that non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.

"Our association appreciates there will be many people in our community who will be disappointed and upset by this decision but this unprecedented, worldwide crisis demands that measures be put in place to slow the community spread of Covid-19," they said.

"The safety and wellbeing of our community is of paramount importance and is our primary motivation for reaching this decision."

"Our staff and volunteer committee are devastated - especially at this time when the 2020 festival was at an advanced planning stage."

The popular Easter festival was expected to kick off on April 4 with the Miss Gladstone Harbour Festival.

The event also features the Raft Race and the Harbour Festival Street Parade.

Residents left comments thanking organisers.

"Thoughts are with you guys, the sheer amount of effort put in by staff and volunteers to get such a big event to this stage is so deflating.

"Keep your chins up," Nicolle Allison said.

Organisers said they looked forward to making next year's event the "best ever".

"We look positively towards the future and will commence planning of the 2021 Harbour Festival," they said.