A smaller scale Albury Carols by Candlelight evening will be discussed by senior council management staff on Tuesday after councillors were split on the event being resurrected.
In raising the issue in urgent business of the council meeting on Monday night, Cr Murray King said it was a great opportunity to send a message "Albury was open for business" post COVID-19 with a carols event in late December when vaccination rates would be at higher levels than present.
He said carols events were planned in Melbourne and Sydney and Albury should follow suit.
"A stage is a stage, the public toilets are public toilets, the seating is the seating and there are portable food vendors out there absolutely screaming for this type of event to get back on the horse," he said.
He gained support from Cr John Stuchbery.
"If Melbourne and Sydney, as Australia's hottest hotspots, are having Carols by Candlelight then why Albury can't have it when we've had three cases in total is beyond me," Cr Stuchbery said.
"We need to give residents something to cheer them up and we need to snap out of this risk averse behaviour we've sunk into in the last 18 months."
But deputy mayor Amanda Cohn expressed caution.
"It's not just the uncertainty around the day of the event itself, but also all of the rehearsals which would be happening now," she said.
Cr David Thurley said a bigger priority was getting families reconnected again.
IN OTHER NEWS
Themed music events in Botanic Gardens including carols and Albury City Band playing in QEII Square in the lead-up to Christmas had been put forward as alternatives by staff.
Meanwhile, Wangaratta's Melbourne Cup meeting has fallen victim to COVID-19 for the second year in a row.
Even though the Victorian government will allow 10,000 people to be at Flemington on cup day, Wangaratta's cup day meeting will be transferred to Oaks Day two days later, but without a guarantee of a crowd.
Racing Victoria announced late yesterday that if the state's 80 per cent double dose vaccination is reached by Oaks Day, November 4, crowds can return.
If the milestone is achieved early it will be up to Wangaratta Turf Club if it wants spectators.
"It is important for all to have certainty in planning which this decision helps to provide, although it should be noted that some clubs may initially elect not to welcome spectators once the target is reached due to timelines, logistics and the requirements to ensure the conduct of a COVID safe event," Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said.
Pre-COVID, Wangaratta's Melbourne Cup meeting consistently attracted crowds of between 3000 and 4000 people to be its biggest spectator event of the year.
The government is conducting a trial for 300 fully vaccinated people at a Warrnambool race meeting on Thursday.
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