Forest Hill Christmas Festivities in full swing in 2019. Photo: Kate Brimblecombe
Forest Hill Christmas Festivities in full swing in 2019. Photo: Kate Brimblecombe

Restrictions force popular Christmas festival cancellation

A CHRISTMAS tradition that has brought thousands of people together for almost 80 years has been cancelled for the first time in 2020.

The Forest Hill Christmas Festival was cancelled due to the pressures faced by the COVID pandemic.

The decision to cancel the event was made last Monday by the Forest Hill Christmas Festivities Committee, who believed the usual atmosphere that people have loved for generations would not be possible due to the COVID-safe restrictions that remain in place.

Forest Hill Christmas Festivities Committee president Mr Fred Wilks said the team waited for the longest time possible to call off the event, but said in the end, a decision had to be made.

"We wouldn't be able to conduct the event in its normal style," Mr Wilks said.

The annual community event that brought as many as 2000 people to Forest Hill, which closed the main street, featured the famous ham wheels, music, rides, face painting and food and drinks.

Forest Hill Christmas Festivities, 2019.
Forest Hill Christmas Festivities, 2019.

Mr Wilks said it was a tough decision to make because of the feeling that "you are losing something important to the community".

He added that while people were upset, they are understanding of the situation and feedback for the committee has been overwhelmingly positive.

The biggest slide at Forest Hill Christmas Festivities, 2019.
The biggest slide at Forest Hill Christmas Festivities, 2019.

"Most people have said to me there is always next year," Mr Wilks said.

The event was scheduled to take place on Friday.


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