it is not all doom and gloom as Alert Level 2 restrictions continue for Central Otago residents this week.

On Monday the Government announced Auckland would stay at Alert Level 3 until 11.59pm on Sunday and then join the rest of New Zealand at Level 2 until at least September 6.

Just moments after the announcement, Alexandra Blossom Festival manager Martin McPherson told The News it was business as usual for the festival, which would return on September 26.

The blossom festival could not run if the region was at Alert Level 2, but Mr McPherson was working on the assumption Central Otago would be back to Level 1 before the festival took place.

International singer and Wanaka local Jody Direen has been confirmed as the headline act, and all the favourites, including floats and ‘‘florreys’’— decorated trolleys — are being prepared.

Mr McPherson encouraged people to submit nominations for the senior blossom festival queen.
The competition, which highlights the contribution of senior women in the community, would celebrate 25 years this year.

Mr McPherson said he would hate to cancel the blossom festival, which had run every year since 1957.

Not everyone had been lucky enough to have their events go ahead.

Omakau School’s Year 4-8 children had their ski trip to Cardrona cancelled and the Dunstan zone cross-country, which was scheduled for Tuesday this week, was postponed.

Clyde School principal Doug White, who is organising the event, said it had not been decided whether it would definitely go ahead.
An estimated 250 to 300 children would have been taking part in zones so ‘‘it wasn’t really an option’’.
The event was being reviewed.

The Lawrence Lions Club has also postponed the 2021 Lawrence McKeown Farmarama until 2023.
Club secretary and Farmarama co-convener Karen Robertson said it chose not to hold next year’s event as the Covid-19 situation was still uncertain.
Farmarama has been held on alternate years to the Southern Field Days and usually attracted between 90 and 100 exhibitors and up to 800 spectators.

The club has also had to postpone its annual Stars In Their Eyes event because of Level 2.

*Fake emails are being distributed throughout Central Otago, claiming to be from the Alexandra Blossom Festival.
Festival manager Martin McPherson confirmed his email had been hacked with a ‘‘vicious’’ piece of malware earlier this week.
People are urged to be cautious and not open the attachment.

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