Thirlmere Festival of Steam postponed again

Covid-19 restrictions have stopped the annual Thirlmere Festival of Steam in its tracks.

The iconic event was cancelled in 2020 due to the bushfire crisis, however, a funding boost from the federal government was expected to help bring the event back bigger than ever in 2021.

However Wollondilly deputy mayor Michael Banasik took to Facebook yesterday to announce the event would again be postponed.

"The Festival of Steam will be rescheduled to Sunday 20 March 2022 and will be relaunched with new graphic designs, marketing collateral and new inclusions including a dinner, live entertainment and extended carnival," he said.

"This decision was made due to continuing complications caused through the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent ongoing restrictions on mass gatherings of people."

Hume MP Angus Taylor announced last year that the festival's organisers would receive $72,500 under the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.

Mr Taylor told the Advertiser at the time that the grant would play an important role in bringing tourists back to Wollondilly.

"The tourism industry has done it incredibly tough this year; there are many local businesses that were hit hard by the bushfires and then Covid," he said.

"These grants will help the community get back on their feet by encouraging people to visit some of the beautiful towns in Wollondilly and supporting local businesses while they are there.

"The much-loved Thirlmere Festival of Steam was sorely missed by the community this year.

"The event has been continually growing in size every year; it's fantastic to see the crowds it draws."

The popular locomotive event was formerly organised by the Rotary Club of Picton however Wollondilly Council and Tranport Heritage NSW have taken over management of the festival.

Transtport NSW, operators of the NSW Rail Museum, chief executive Andrew Moritz reaffirmed their commitment to the annual event last year.

"We look forward to working with the council in further developing and expanding this annual celebration of steam and nostalgia which has continued to attract thousands to the area for more than 30 years," he said.