Doubts over Covid-19 levels have prompted the cancellation of the Alexandra Blossom Festival this year, leaving organisers “gutted”.

The organising committee said it was disappointed to announce the cancellation of the 65th Contact Alexandra Blossom Festival yesterday.

As recently as the weekend organisers were still holding out hope the event could go ahead later this month.

However, doubts over tweaked Covid-19 alert levels prompted the decision not to proceed.

Committee chairwoman Sharleen Stirling-Lindsay said the decision was not made lightly, and though heavy-hearted, the committee was unanimous.

“But Level 2 [under the Covid-19 Delta variant] doesn’t look like the Level 2 we’ve had in the past. We could not guarantee that Level 1, if we made it there in time, would look like the Level 1 we have known.”

Mrs Stirling-Lindsay said the committee did not want to offer the community a lesser version of the festival.

She hoped those who had planned to travel to the festival and booked accommodation would still come as there was still plenty to do in Alexandra.

Festival event manager Martin McPherson said he was but fully supported the committee and understood the difficult decision needed to be made in order to stay in line with Covid-19 restrictions and keep people safe.

understatement disappointed not only for the festival and all the people who have put so much effort into it, but also Alexandra.

“The Blossom Festival is such an important part of our community.”

Vendors, entertainment and other festival participants would be contacted directly this week regarding the cancellation.

The Blossom Festival committee would look at holding an event for the Alexandra community later this year if alert levels allowed, Mrs Stirling-Lindsay said.

The festival was able to go ahead last year after a move to Alert Level 1 just days before the event.