WAGGA'S Mardi Gras festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to COVID-19 but the city's LGBTIQ community are refusing to let the news rain on their parade.
Organiser Holly Conroy said it was a tough decision, particularly after the 2020 event being cancelled for the same reason, but in the end it was for the best.
"It really is disappointing, I tried my hardest to make the event happen, but there's just so much uncertainty around the restrictions at the moment and all the new strains [of the virus]," she said.
With the event originally scheduled for the second weekend in March, Ms Conroy said aside from the logistics being difficult, she didn't want to waste funding on a heavily restricted event.
"Even with the parade cancelled and having just a party in the gardens, there would only be 3000 people maximum, including staff, volunteers and patrons, and then people would have to stay in groups of 500 so it would be so difficult to manage logistically," she said.
"But this is also the last year I'm entitled to council funding for the event, and I would rather save that for next year when we can do a full parade with all the trimmings and really make it worthwhile."
In other news:
"We really encourage people to throw their own Mardi Gras parties on that weekend in their own homes, we'd love to see all the pictures and videos of them having a blast and getting dressed up and enjoying themselves as they would have if the event went ahead," she said.
"In the meantime, we can all get excited for next year's return when things should be looking up a bit in terms of restrictions.
"It will be bigger and better than ever."
All tickets sold so far will be refunded.