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Perfect weather was forecast for the weekend and everything was in place for the best ever Botanical Bazaar.  Months of preparation had culminated on Saturday 31 July with: 

Then at about 10:15, we received the news of a snap lockdown of 11 LGAs to manage a Covid outbreak in Brisbane. Given only 6 hours for our exhibitors to bump-out and get to their homes by 4pm, there was only one option – Shutdown the event and suffer the losses involved.  Our volunteers and the exhibitors then spent several hours dismantling what they had just created – heartbreaking!

Gold Coast Rotary has refunded all ticket sales, site booking fees for exhibitors and food vendors and hope that a Division 5 Community Grant will cover our committed expenditures.  Nothing will recover the over 1000 volunteer hours spent organising the event.  Exhibitors have estimated that they lost between $200.000 and $350,000 sales and our club’s funds to support community causes has been reduced by over $60,000.

On a positive, we have received so many wonderful encouraging messages and commendations on our team, set up, vibe and event. What a great event we have and one that will continue to grow, engage our club members and be profitable. The committee that has evolved in such a short timeframe is more than commendable and whilst devastated, we have not lost hope and will be back with enthusiasm again next time.

Here are some messages we have received from ticket holders, stall holders, speakers and our supporters … THANK YOU!!!  These messages gave us the boost we needed to get back up and get working on BB22!