Concerns about public health have postponed the fourth annual Moto Fest Wauchope until 2021, according to local organisers.
The annual event was originally scheduled to be held at Wauchope Showgrounds on Saturday, September 19. The vehicular extravaganza usually draws crowds from across Australia with a motorcycle show and shine, motorcycle swap meet, tattoo show and motorcycle gymkhana.
Previous years have hosted trade stalls, food and coffee stations as well as entertainment such as kids jumping castles and live music. The event is supported by Motorcycle Friendly Wauchope and the Wauchope Chamber of Commerce.
"We were really hoping to hold the Motofest event as we wanted to be able to support local businesses and the motorbike riding community through a trying time," she said.
"Particularly after the severe impact of the drought and the bushfires on our local communities and also COVID-19.
"A few weeks ago it was looking promising with the easing of restrictions, however given recent increases in cases, the Wauchope Showground being closed for events until the end of November.
"(Due to) our concern for the wellbeing of our community and the volunteers who make the Motofest event happen, the Motofest Committee have decided to cancel this year's event.
"We will be setting a date soon for next year's event which will be bigger and better than ever thanks to grant funding that we have obtained through both the Port Macquarie Hastings Council and Destination NSW, which will now be carried over to next year's event."
Moto Fest Wauchope received $4000 in funding from the Port Macquarie Hastings Council for use on a website and marketing. The event also received a $10,000 grant from destination NSW. Both amounts will now be used for the next scheduled 2021 event.
"We are already planning for next year's event and we are planning to host a virtual event on the day this year as well," Jenny Pursehouse said.
"We are looking into having a virtual event on the day and we will have more information on that after a meeting held next week.
"Funding grants will roll over to next years event and it will still be in September next year pending what happens next year.
"It's a bit of a shame to postpone because we were getting messages from people from across Australia to attend. We had a message about 80 to 100 riders who were wanting to attend from Tasmania and South Australia. There was a lot of interest to attend.
"We held off making the decision as long as we could because of the significance of business to town and also for the mental health aspect for the community. Motofest has always been about connecting with each other and meeting like minded people."