THERE’S no doubt being a child during COVID has been a different experience to what the majority of us had.

Kids have been absent from classrooms, play dates with friends at the park have been not allowed for long periods of time and players have been forced from the court for sports.

Rightly or wrongly, the Family Fun Fair when it arrived in Mildura last week, brought a sense of fun and some normality for families.

There was a lot of backlash from our community, with plenty of locals vowing to boycott the event, due to feeling concerned about health and safety, or a disbelief an event like the fair was able to be held when so many caps and restrictions remain in place due to COVID.

But for every person that was angry, there’s probably one who decided to make the most of the event, have some fun, and let their hair down.

The line of about 100 people gathered to enter the fair most of Sunday afternoon was indicative of this.

And there are plenty of precautions being taken by fair organisers.

Patronage was capped at 300, there were ample hand sanitising stations and operators were regularly seen disinfecting rides.

The majority of attendees were wearing masks and because there was only a small number of people at the event at any one time, they were pretty evenly distributed among the number of rides, which meant social distancing was easily achieved.

After so much doom and gloom, it was refreshing to hear the laughter of kids; to see the smiles on their faces and to see families out enjoying a Sunday afternoon in the sun together.

In saying that, you can’t help but feel for the businesses locally who either can’t open, or who have been allowed to open at low capacity.

The fair, originally planned for the Ornamental Lakes, was moved to the Mildura Racecourse.

In a statement issued to Mildura Weekly from Mildura Rural City Council in the lead up to the event, council said it had been working with organisers of the event before they decided to move the fair to a different location.

The statement read: “Whether this event can proceed is a matter for the Victorian Government and in the last week we have been seeking clarification, along with working with the event organisers on their safety requirements and COVID 19 compliance.

“The event organiser has now decided to relocate to non-council land.

“We understand that the Victorian Government is continuing to review this event and its ability to proceed.”