Green thumbs up for festival 

All going to plan, the 2021 Rotary Garden Festival will go ahead as scheduled on November 21.

Uncertainty around changing Covid-19 levels has prompted some to question whether this year’s festival might be postponed, as has been the case with several other events.

But the festival organiser, Rotarian Carey Church, said that assuming we will be at Level 2 or 1 at that stage, the event can be run.

“The Garden Festival is outdoors, so we can run it at Level 2 comfortably as we can have up to 100 people per garden. We already monitor those numbers, so this will just be a case of making sure we ask people to wait if there are 100 at a garden at any time,” she said.

“In reality, because there are 11 gardens and people visit over a six to seven-and-a-half hour time period, it is unlikely there will be that many people at one garden.”

Carey said QR codes and registers will be on hand, and people can social distance and wear face masks.

She said in the event of Cambridge still being at Level 3, or even returning to Level 4, the event would be rescheduled to either November 28, December 5 or December 12.

“If we can’t get it away this calendar year, we will cancel it, and people can either receive a refund of their ticket price and lunch purchases, or they can choose to donate some or all of it to charities.”

Despite the concerns, ticket sales have been going very well.  Carey said: “They’re double what they were at this time last year … I’m optimistic we will run out this year.”

The popular event, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, is an important fundraiser for the Cambridge Rotary Club, with proceeds going to Cambridge charities.  In 2019, over $36,500 was raised.

Tickets for the event include maps featuring the 11 gardens on show. The cost is $40 a person, and $30 for seniors. Early bird tickets at $30 across the board are available if purchased before the end of September. Tickets are available at both Amber Nurseries and Cambridge Jewellers, and via the website (www.cgf.nz).

The limited number of tickets for the “Behind the Scenes Tour’ of Amber Garden Centre are available only through the website.

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