The six-hour-long comedy event that's completely sold out for the past two years in Orange has quite miraculously been given the nod to go ahead on December 5.
The comedy line-up for Grapes of Mirth was only confirmed on Friday and its organiser, Jason Nikolas, may be in South Australia - a state that Tasmania, Northern Territory and Queensland have closed its borders to after Adelaide suffered a coronavirus outbreak on Sunday - but Mr Nikolas is confident the event will go ahead.
At the time of going to print NSW had no plans to shut its borders to South Australia.
For the third year, comedian Merrick Watts will be the host for the event, bringing another seven entertainers with him - including Nazeem Hussain.
Mr Nikolas is billing the event that's scheduled for December 5 - in less than three weeks' time - as "covid-safe comedy".
"We've put in a pretty comprehensive covid-safe plan [to Orange City Council] ... and they supported it," he said.
"Obviously, this year's a little bit different by being at the [Orange] Showground and not at a winery where we normally set up.
"But with the extra space [and] the way we're setting up the ground, literally there is so much space.
"People will [be able to] distance themselves as much as they feel they need to and we'll be marshalling as well [to ensure social distancing]. The showgrounds got as many square metres per person as what we'll need."
It will be the first major public event since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the region, and due to a venue change from Nashdale Lane Winery to Orange Showground, the crowd capacity will be even bigger than previous years.
The licensing for Grapes of Mirth is currently at 900 people which will be separated into two zones. Last year the event sold out at 700 people.
"There'll be one stage but two areas and around 400 people per area," Mr Nikolas said.
"From the punters' perspective it's a good thing because we'll have double the bars, double the amenities. It keeps everyone separated and (spaced) out a little bit," he said, adding that the changes were a requirement from local authorities before the event could be approved.
"We'll take every precaution necessary to make sure it's a super safe event."
As of Monday morning, two-thirds of tickets had already been sold.
It will also be one of the few events in Orange in December, as the annual Carols by Candlelight event has been cancelled, with Orange City Council instead spending about $50,000 on festive decorations around the city.
Grapes of Mirth is on December 5 at Orange Showgrounds from 12 - 6pm. Tickets are available online at: www.grapesofmirth.com.au.
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...