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    Kannamaroo will look a bit different this year.

Kannamaroo ‘with a difference’

A musically synchronised fireworks display in Horsham on Sunday night will cap off three days of Horsham Kannamaroo Festival activities designed to fit in with COVID-19 restrictions.

Festival organisers are continually modifying event details in line with State Government guidelines but are determined to present a weekend that reflects the festival theme of ‘hope’.

The festival starts on Friday and continues on Saturday and Sunday before the ‘pyromusical’ at Horsham Showground.

Festival committee president and Horsham councillor Di Bell said keeping the community safe was a priority, which meant a festival with a difference and a pressing need for everyone to follow social-distancing rules.

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She said people would be able to watch the fireworks from a limited number of cars in the showground or in isolation at vantage sites outside the showground.

“This display has been designed for viewing from far and wide with a high-level display. The music accompanying the fireworks will be Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We are the Champions’,” she said.

“We suggest that no matter where you plan to watch from, that you download these two tracks onto your phone or other device and watch the Kannamaroo Festival Facebook page for a countdown.

“Anyone wanting to watch from inside the showground will need to drive in and stay with their cars. And the number is capped. So you might prefer to watch from a vantage point outside. To avoid any inconvenience, we also recommend restraining cats and dogs.”

Festival challenge

Mrs Bell said it had been a challenging task to organise the festival due to continually changing restrictions and people should follow the Facebook page for updates.

“We ask all who attend anything during the weekend to remember to follow hygiene guidelines, maintain a distance of 1.5 metres and to carry your mask when this is unavoidable,” she said.

Mrs Bell confirmed that unlike other years, there would be no street closures or festival activities in Horsham’s central business district on Friday night. “But there is going to be plenty of Christmas spirit with many businesses with access to footpath trading courtesy of Horsham Rural City Council and trading later than usual. It will still be a great opportunity to shop after work with a Black Friday Sale, and meet a friend to enjoy a meal too,” she said.

Carnival rides this year, instead of being in Firebrace Street, will be at the north end of Horsham Showground in various sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

Entry numbers will be capped and contact-tracing guidelines in place in line with restrictions. All rides and amusements will be spread out to allow for social distancing and to undergo repeated cleaning.

A forecast of hot weather on Saturday has meant sessions will be from 10am to 2pm and then from 5pm to 8pm. On Sunday the carnival-rides session will be from 10am to 5pm.

Sunday children’s activities also include a ‘Wimmera Roll-in’ from 1pm to 5pm at Horsham Skate Park in Park Drive.

Mrs Bell stressed that all events were free to enter.

She also added that a traditional Horsham Harley-Salvation Army motorcycle ride to support underprivileged children with Christmas gifts had been cancelled.

But she said people could still drop off new toys or gifts and donations at Horsham Harley-Davidson in McPherson Street from 10am to noon on Saturday. 

• For more on the Salvation Army ‘toy drop’, see page 9.