Disappointment over the cancellation of this year's Rotorua Glo Festival is being widely felt.
The free annual event, held on New Year's Eve, usually attracts about 15,000 people to the Village Green for a family evening of music, local talent, movies, performing arts and fireworks.
Val Totman and her business partner, Tony Campbell, normally run food trucks with doughnuts, hot dogs and shaved ice all year round, and the festival was one of their biggest earners.
"This is our fulltime business ... When we have events cancelled it really affects our income and our lifestyle.
"I am a bit shocked ... It's unfortunate," she told the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday
She and Campbell live near Mamaku and normally employed local youth to help out on New Year's Eve.
"It impacts their spending money as well."
She said Covid-19 had had a "devastating" effect on their plans for the year but "there's not much you can do about it".
"It's great to be out in the community ... It's all the interaction that you miss."
Kim Archer, from Tasty Bits mobile event catering, had been keen to apply to be part of this year's festival and "start work again".
"Hopefully events like this will not continue to be cancelled," she said.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the festival was "a much-loved family event".
"This won't have been an easy call for the team to make and I know they tried their very best to make it work. Many factors were taken into consideration.
"Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on the events industry and I hope that Glo, along with many other events, can return next year," she said.
The Rotorua Lakes Council confirmed the cancellation in a press release yesterday
"With the end of the year just three months away, and significant uncertainty still existing around New Zealand's ability to host large events as a result of Covid-19, we were left with no choice but to cancel," the arts and culture manager Stewart Brown said.
"We need significant lead time to secure things like fireworks, stage, entertainers, sound and lighting, along with all the necessary event permits. Despite having now moved to alert level 1, the ongoing uncertainty means we have been unable to commit to these things."
New Year's Eve falls on a Thursday this year, so the Rotorua Night Market team would be looking at ways to add extra family entertainment to the market that night, the statement said.
It said the council had looked across all budgets to make savings, in response to Covid-19.
The council had hoped to attract funding from the recently announced Domestic Event Fund for Glo but was unsuccessful.
The festival has previously been backed by the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, Four Winds and One Foundation.