Organisers are hoping Melbourne visitors will be able to return to Ballarat in time for key winter tourist attractions to give the city an economic boost.
With Melburnians currently unable to venture out to regional Victoria without a valid reason, it leaves a dark cloud hanging over the the City of Ballarat's Winter Festival and Sovereign Hill's Winter Wonderlights.
Both events are set to kick off in just more than two weeks, Winter Wonderlights on Friday, June 25 and the Winter Festival the following day, and rely on Melbourne visitation to be financially successful.
That visitation also helps spur the city's economy during a time when it may otherwise be in hibernation.
Melbourne visitors could return to regional Victoria as soon as next week, depending on how the outbreak develops, according to a roadmap flagged by acting Premier James Merlino on Wednesday.
City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said council's events team have had plans A, B and C in place for every event this year.
"The challenge really is if Melbourne isn't able to visit, that's the biggest threat, so everyone has their fingers crossed that the restrictions lift in Melbourne and the rest of regional Victoria sometime pretty soon," he said.
"Winter Fest goes for a few weeks as well. We've done everything we possibly can to try to insulate the event, pun intended, from COVID as much as we possibly can by spreading it over a longer period of time, by having multiple different locations where we can run COVID-safe events."
With Ballarat's events calendar being one of the busiest in the state, Cr Moloney said there was limited opportunity for postponements.
"I guess we're hoping that seeing it's spread over so many weeks, including school holidays, that we do get to see most, if not all of the events run normally. There's no way we'll know for certain in these current days, there's no such thing as certainly in 2021, unfortunately," he said.
"It's harder to move, you might be able to move things around by a week or two, but the reality is we then start getting into our next lot of festivals, we then start heading towards South Street, which hopefully can run normally as well, and then we start heading ultimately to the spring events as well.
"The challenge we've got as a city that normally has something on every weekend, it has a cascading effect if you delay things too much."
Winter Wonderlights is one of Sovereign Hill's most important events of the year, turning what could be a lean period into one of its most popular.
However, a continued ban on Melbourne visitors could rob Sovereign Hill of up to 40 per cent of its usual visitation.
According to its 2019-20 annual report, 147,000 of Sovereign Hill's 373,500 visitors hailed from Melbourne with 70,000, or 18 per cent, coming from regional Victoria.
Head of external engagement Mark Hemetsberger said Sovereign Hill still expected to reopen this Saturday with Winter Wonderlights to go ahead as planned.
"We are expecting Winter Wonderlights to go ahead and we modify ourselves and adapt to the situation as best we can to make sure that we deliver on those promises, but, of course, it's all predicated on what the announcements are with regards to restrictions from the government," he said.
"Victorian visitation has always been really important to Sovereign Hill. While internationals are important, the biggest visitation that Sovereign Hill has always had comes from Victoria and the largest proportion of that visitation comes from Melbourne.
"It's really important for us to make sure that Victorians get back out, Melburnians get back out and support us when they can, when it's safe to do so and we will be waiting for them and look forward to welcoming them with open arms when it's safe for them to come back here."
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