The Dundee Flower and Food Festival has been cancelled for the third year in a row.
The September event will take place online again, with Dundee City Council blaming the lingering effects of the pandemic for the decision.
Councillor Anne Rendall, convener of the neighbourhood services committee, said the staff who would usually be planning the in-person festival are “focused on delivering essential front-line services”.
She blamed the lack of certainty around future Covid-19 guidance for the cancellation of the late summer festival.
The event is usually attended by thousands of residents from around Dundee and celebrates local produce.
Ms Rendall said: “I am very sad that we can’t currently return to the popular and familiar sight of around 18,000 people visiting Camperdown over the September weekend.
“However, given the amount of planning and logistical organisation that goes into the event, and uncertainty around events like this, it is just not feasible for it to go ahead in person this year.
“The personnel who would be busy just now planning the festival are all focused on delivering essential front-line services, which continue to be affected by the pandemic and higher than normal levels of staff absence.
‘News will be a disappointment’
Ms Rendall said the tenders would usually go out as early as next month so that planning for the festival can kick into gear.
She added: “At the same time, local suppliers may themselves find it difficult to commit to coming this year.
“The 2020 and 2021 Virtual Flower and Food Festivals have proven to be successful and highlighted a lot of the city and region’s great gardening, cooking, baking and floral talents.
“It’s not the way we would ideally like to do it, but I know that many of the great exhibitions on offer will be showcased again online this year and I urge residents to get involved.
“The news will be a disappointment to many who have attended regularly and followed the Festival over the years, but it’s important that the council’s key services continue to be prioritised as well as ensuring the safety of both employees and members of the public.”
This year’s online festival will take place between September 2 and 4.