Organisers of the first-ever Ipswich Easter Spectacular were forced to cancel the event early. Pic: West Bremer Radio
Organisers of the first-ever Ipswich Easter Spectacular were forced to cancel the event early. Pic: West Bremer Radio

First-ever Easter show forced to shutdown early

THE team behind the first-ever Ipswich Easter Spectacular have been forced to suspend the three-day event little more than 24 hours after it commenced.

It comes as an added blow to organisers, who last week faced the possibility that the event would be cancelled entirely amid Greater Brisbane’s three-day lockdown.

Goodna Street Life vice president Steven Purcell said the event, which attracted about 1500 attendees on Saturday, proved “wonderful” despite its obvious challenges.

Unfortunately, it was a flood watch warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Sunday that forced the event’s premature conclusion.

The inaugural event was originally scheduled to take place from April 3-5.

“Obviously it was a challenge making the event happen with the COVID-19 lockdown the week prior,” Mr Purcell said.

Operators had just 24 hours to set up the site after Queensland’s lockdown was lifted on Thursday.
Operators had just 24 hours to set up the site after Queensland’s lockdown was lifted on Thursday.

“We weren’t certain that we were going to be able to go ahead because lockdown kicked on Tuesday, the day that we were supposed to set up rides.”

He said vendors and rider operators acted quickly once they learned lockdown would end at midday last Thursday – leaving organisers only a 24-hour window to set up.

“That presented a big challenge because even with the lifting of the lockdown, we had a much shorter window to actually get prepared and organised,” Mr Purcell said.

“It was a great turnout [on Saturday] for our very first Easter event, given the combination of COVID-19 and the rain.

READ MORE: Flood watch cancelled as intense system stays off-shore

“A lot of the stallholders told me they did quite well, the coffee vendors said they were non-stop.”

Their good fortune, however, appeared to run out a short time later as generous rainfall continued to dampen the site.

“Given the rain we had the night before, we had a meeting on Sunday morning with the ride operators and stallholders where we decided to cancel the rest of the event,” Mr Purcell said.

“It really came down to a matter of safety.

The inaugural event proved a success despite the many challenges organisers faced
The inaugural event proved a success despite the many challenges organisers faced

“We decided that we should pull the pin and get everyone packed down while we had the chance.”

The decision also meant the main event – a fireworks display on Sunday evening – did not go ahead much to the disappointment of the public.

“It was a shame, a lot of people told us they were coming along for those,” he said.

“But we’ve made a promise to our stall holders and supporters that we’ll hold another event, we’ve already paid for the fireworks and the operator was gracious enough to allow us to postpone it.

“We’re planning another night where we can have our fireworks display and see if we can get some stall holders and a few rides up.”

Mr Purcell said organisers were looking at a date in early May to hold the rescheduled event.

He said the event was set to become an annual celebration for the community.

Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.