Fireworks but no tweaked Taste of Tasmania on Hobart waterfront due to coronavirus limits

Hopes for a scaled-down Taste of Tasmania festival for Hobart have been dashed, with the city’s council saying it’s been unable to source a viable replacement.

The Taste, a week-long food and wine showcase at the end of December, and a key event on Hobart’s social calendar for more than 30 years — was cancelled in its usual form in May due to uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, there were hopes the festival would go ahead as a different, smaller event.

Coronavirus has led to the cancellation of several festivals in Tasmania, including the Dark Mofo winter festival.

A public expressions of interest process failed to find a suitable alternative, the council said.(Taste of Tasmania)

In July, the Tasmanian Government called for expressions of interest in staging a modified Taste of Tasmania but acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff said in a statement that was now deemed impossible.

“After working with the Hobart City Council, it’s become clear that following an end of year event submission process announced in July, that a modified ‘Taste’ style event cannot proceed this summer in the current environment as we continue to respond to the risk posed by COVID-19 and large gatherings,” Mr Rockliff said.

Hobart City Council general manager Nick Heath said that while several proposals were worthy of future consideration “it became clear in the feedback we received that a meaningful event on the waterfront this year was not viable”.

Fireworks are seen in the sky at night time above a group of people
The Taste usually attracts about 30,000 attendees each day.(ABC News: Laura Beavis)

Mr Heath said the council was still planning a New Year’s Eve fireworks display, subject to public health advice.

“We will make further announcements on the fireworks when we have more definitive information,” he said.

About 30,000 people attend the Taste each day with many greeting the fleet of Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race as competitors sail into Constitution Dock.

Race organisers have not yet made an announcement about this year’s event.

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