The organisers of the Griffith Italian Festival have had to cancel the event for the second year in a row after a continuing surge of COVID cases in Greater Sydney.
In a statement released on Monday evening, the organisers noted that the cancellation was regrettable, but was done to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the local community.
Organiser, Patrick Zirilli told The Area News that the decision to cancel the event was not taken lightly.
"We are devastated we had to cancel, we put a lot of time and effort into preparations," Mr Zirilli said.
"Especially because of last year's cancellation, we were optimistic about making it bigger and better this year, but given the circumstances we know it is the right decision to make."
According to Mr Zirilli, the date for the 2022 Italian Festival has yet to be set, however it is unlikely that the event would occur earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, A Taste of Italy was a marketing campaign planned by Griffith City Council which was to be run in August.
Long Sunday lunches at Calabria's and De Bortoli Wines were planned to go ahead as special events in August.
Calabria's have since cancelled their event and De Bortoli's at the time of reporting had not decided whether they would host the event or not.
For all those who have purchased tickets to the Griffith Italian Festival, refunds will be made available.
"We would just like to thank everyone with their support, especially the community who got behind the event and purchased tickets," Mr Zirilli said.
"We look forward to organising this wonderful event for the community next year."
Griffith City Council's tourism manager Mirella Guidolin said the current COVID outbreak had changed how the campaign would run.
"The programs have already been printed and circulated before the current COVID outbreak," Ms Guidolin said.
"As we are working closely with all event organisers, we have since cancelled marketing the campaign in key tourism markets.
"We can still use the program for future promotions as we can highlight our Italian experiences and events."
Ms Guidolin said the focus was on keeping everyone safe, as well as working with stakeholders to communicate any changes as cancellation of events occurred.
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