IN a sea of cancelled events, one determined committee is still on a mission to put on their event this year.
The Renmark Riverland Rose Festival is set to go ahead from Friday, October 16, to Sunday, October 25, with organisers refusing to succumb to the pressures of COVID-19.
Renmark Riverland Rose Festival president Sheree Chappel said the hard-working committee is doing everything right to make sure the event is COVID-safe.
“The committee had to make the decision whether to go ahead then we had to engage with the visitor information centre, Renmark Paringa Council and Destination Riverland,” she said.
“Out of those conversations, the risks were highlighted and we analysed every risk, and broke down how we could control those risks then we had to decide whether it was worth proceeding and we decided yes it still was.”
Mrs Chappel said the committee then engaged SA Health to put the correct procedures in place.
“We waited for their feedback whether we needed a COVID management plan or a COVID safe plan,” she said.
“Upon receiving the recommendations, we had to think how we could do the open gardens and give the gardeners confidence to know that people going onto their property weren’t affected with coronavirus, so we have some control measures there.
“We will have control measures around traceability and now it’s progressed to having to have the marshalls.
“I think the committee has pretty well dotted every I and crossed every t, to try and control all the risks.”
Mrs Chappel said the committee also liaised with SA Police, the CFS and MFS, State Emergency Services and SA Ambulance.
“We received feedback from all of those emergency services and hearing that they believe we have thought of everything also helped us decide to push ahead with the event,” she said.
“Now it’s up to the public to follow the rules.”
Mrs Chappel said the committee was keen to carry on the momentum for last year’s successful festival.
She said for the most part the public had been supportive of the committee’s push to hold the festival this year.
“We have had a lot of community feedback and as much as there has been some negative feedback, it was actually outweighed by positive feedback,” Mrs Chappel said.
“It comes down to people in SA wanting to travel and get out and about.
“So that positive feedback was another factor in pushing ahead.”
Mrs Chappel said the message to locals and potential visitors was simple.
“Come and support us,” she said.
“Come and support probably the only Riverland event and community event that is going ahead.
“Take the confidence away that we are doing everything we can to provide a safe event and we can demonstrate that by the safety plans we have in place.
“We will have 35 COVID-safe plans in place. Have some faith in us.”
Can you lend a hand?
THE Renmark Riverland Rose Festival committee is hard at work to organise this year’s event and have put a call out for any extra help.
The small committee of five, plus three “friends of the festival”, are doing everything possible to make sure this year’s festival is safe for attendees.
“It’s been a huge undertaking and everyone’s jobs are so much bigger this year taking COVID into account,” said Sheree Chappel, Renmark Riverland Rose Festival president.
“They are all working tirelessly so the event can go on and be successful.
“If anyone is in a position to help us out we would really appreciate it.”
Some of the volunteer roles the committee would like to see filled include;
l Crowd observers (as opposed to marshalls) for the Opening Fair;
l Assistance at the entrance gate to the fair;
l Volunteer marshalls for the Institute Floral Display;
l Volunteers to help open gardeners who ask for assistance.
To lend a hand call Mrs Chappel on 0447 951 663, email email@example.com or call secretary John Chappel on 0407 010 363.