A NUMBER of events in central Victoria have been called off amid concerns around COVID-19.
The federal government advised groups on Friday, March 13 that gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.
The recommendation came into effect from Monday, March 16.
In response, organisers in Bendigo have cancelled or postponed some key events.
Events that have been cancelled
Bendigo Easter Fair - It was meant to be the 150th fair this year, but the Easter Fair Society has cancelled the event. The community will now have to wait until 2021 to celebrate the important milestone.
Groovin the Moo - The touring regional music festival was set to come to Bendigo in early May for a 12th time, but organisers have had to call it off.
Bendigo PRIDE Festival - Bendigo's second PRIDE Festival has been postponed, ahead of its official opening on March 21. Organisers are considering ways to deliver some of the elements of the festival through technology.
Bendigo Writers Festival Big Bookmark event - The event, which was scheduled to take place from May 8-10, has been cancelled.
Easter Book Fair - The Y Service Club of Bendigo said the decision was influenced by restrictions intended to slow the spread of the virus, such as social distancing.
Bendigo Winemakers Festival - The April event has been called off, but those with tickets already will be given refunds.
Bendigo Bakes - Bee Cause - A baking extravaganza to raise money for Ligurian Queen Bees on Kangaroo Island, this community event was set for March 28 at the YMCA Hall in Bendigo. It will be postponed until later this year.
Bendigo Easter Art Show - The 53rd consecutive show has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. Organisers said the health and wellbeing of volunteers, artists, and patrons were its number one priority. Artists who have already paid entry fees will be refunded in due course.
Pyramid Hill Fiesta Boodle Feast - The Boodle Feast was due to be held on March 21, but the Pyramid Hill Fiesta Committee has cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus spread being upgraded to pandemic level. Those who bought tickets online will be refunded online, while those who bought them from the Pyramid Hill Neighbourhood House will have to collect their refund from the house.
Bendigo Interfaith Council Annual Dinner - Medical advice, feedback and the declared State of Emergency for Victoria have seen the event planned for the All Seasons Bendigo on March 19 postponed to "a future date".
Zinda Festival - The festival was scheduled for the evening of Saturday, March 14, but Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services made the decision to cancel early on Friday.
Victorian Masters Athletics Championships - The major event was scheduled to be held at the Flora Hill athletics complex on the weekend of March 14 and 15.
Eaglehawk's Dahlia and Arts Festival - The event's president David Richards said it was too risky for all the volunteers and visitors. It was scheduled to take place between March 20 and 24.
Melanoma March - The walk was meant to go ahead on the morning of Sunday, March 15, but the Melanoma Institute pulled the pin on the event.
Tiny House Festival - Organisers announced late on Friday night that the event, scheduled for March 21 and 22, would not go ahead. The festival directors said they were hoping to find new dates for the Bendigo event.
Bendigo's Relay for Life - Cancer Council Victoria has ordered all March and April events be cancelled. The Bendigo relay was scheduled for April 17 and 18.
Pipe Band Championships - The event was meant to be held in Maryborough on April 4 and 5. It has been provisionally postponed to October 24 and 25.
Bendigo Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk - Organisers said the event, which was supposed to run on March 22, has been postponed due to the coronavirus.
Bendigo Tennis Centre - All operations, competitions, and tournaments at the centre have been postponed.
Talbot Farmers' Market - This month's market was cancelled. Organisers are hoping the April event will go ahead as planned.
Pyrenees Unearthed - The wine, food, and entertainment festival has been cancelled for this year. It will return on April 17, 2021.
Maldon Easter Fair - Organisers have cancelled most of the events at this year's fair. They said there would still be the lighting of the tower, the outdoor Good Friday service at the Beehive Chimney, and the Easter raffle.
Sustainable Living Festival - Had been scheduled for March 28 in the Bendigo Town Hall and Library Gardens.
Kyneton Horticultural Autumn Flower Show - The show was scheduled for April 4 and 5 but has now been cancelled
Bendigo Showgrounds Market - The weekly market was cancelled on March 22 and organisers said they were working with authorities to determine options going forward.
Rheola Charity Carnival - The 150th carnival, which was to take place on Easter Monday, has been called off. However, the raffle is still running and will be drawn on April 13.
Events that are still going ahead
Bendigo Writers Festival schools day - Text Marks The Spot will proceed as planned in August, at this stage.
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