Eisteddfod COVID-19 victim…again

Another one bites the dust as the much-loved Balaklava Eisteddfod has had to cancel for the second year in a row in light of the stay at home order and closure of schools.

The Eisteddfod was gearing up for its 25th event celebrating performing arts talent from around the region and across the state before a press conference at 11am Tuesday morning announced the statewide lockdown.

The committee had to ring the death knell before hundreds of entrants and support staff flooded into the town on Friday, July 30, and Saturday, July 31.

President of the Eisteddfod society Bronny Cottle said their primary concern was the influx of strangers that come into the community over the two days and the potential risk that could pose during a COVID-19 outbreak.

“It would just be a dreadful feeling if something happened and someone came into the community and they could trace it back to the Eisteddfod,” Bronny said.

It was not logistically possible to reschedule the event, so the committee sent an email out yesterday to notify schools of the decision and identified the snowball effect this will take place on local shops.

“And the businesses who were ready to support them have been hit really hard this week,” Bronny said.

“The food shops will really miss their big weekend of trade, and they were tremendous supporters of us.”

Bronny was feeling for the students who now have to miss out on another event cancelled due to COVID-19.

“They love it, it’s the kids that have driven it,” Bronny said.

“It would have been a nice thing for them to do when they haven’t been able to do much, but we didn’t have a choice.”

Nevertheless, Bronny said the committee was grateful for the support of their sponsors, participants and the wider community over the past year.

“We thank all of our volunteers and teams who were ready to go next weekend, I thank them very much for being ready to work with us and support us again.”

For now, the committee looks forward to 2022 and here’s hoping, third time lucky.