THE EAGLEHAWK Dahlia and Arts Festival could return in 2022 despite organisers previously declaring it would pull the pin on all upcoming events over concerns about COVID-19 controls.
They are now holding the door open to a 2022 return after the state government confirmed the Bendigo Easter Fair could 'go ahead with certainty' thanks to high vaccine rates, acting president Laurie Fitzgerald said.
He cautioned it was far too early to declare the event would definitely run.
"The committee is still checking what its options are," Mr Fitzgerald said.
"I would say we are leaving the door open to the possibility."
The sentiment is different to even a month ago, when the organising committee reluctantly ruled out any possibility of running its 50th version of the event in 2022, in large part because it was not going to be able to run the popular street parade.
At the time, organisers believed there was "no hope at all" of breaking with a stage government mandate on events being fenced off, Mr Fitzgerald said.
Events have moved quickly since then.
Last Saturday, the Bendigo Advertiser revealed that the state government would allow the Bendigo Easter Fair to run a parade without fencing off large areas of Bendigo.
Like the Dahlia and Arts Festival, Easter Fair organisers did not want to drop its extremely popular showcase parade, especially given they wanted to celebrate the 150th version of the event.
The Dahlia and Arts' committee plans to meet on Tuesday and will have early discussions about any potential 2022 event return, Mr Fitzgerald said.
It comes after a community forum last Thursday where people were encouraged to share ideas for the festival in the years to come.
A number of ideas for potential 2022 events were discussed at the forum, Mr Fitzgerald said.
Other ideas could shape the festival over the long term.
"The Festival has played an important role in building the Eaglehawk community over the past 50 years," Mr Fitzgerald said prior to the forum.
"With many new residents and businesses moving into Eaglehawk, it is important that everybody has the opportunity to get involved."
The Dahlia and Arts Festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19.
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