The Burdekin’s three-day cane harvest festival, Sweet Days Hot Nights, will be moved online and instead become three weeks of “virtual” events.

The festival usually marks the start of the cane crushing season with events like a community dinner in front of the first cane fire of the season.

This year the shire is streaming one event or performance each night on their social media pages.

Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said there may be some positives out of the move to online events.

“The reach we are getting with (the virtual festival) hopefully it will help celebrate the beginning of the cane season which is a very important industry in our shire, and also attract more visitors next year to see it in person,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Because there is nothing like smelling the fire, that sweet smell and hearing the crackling sound.”

The Burdekin is Australia’s largest sugar cane growing region and one of the last to burn cane prior to harvest.

Cr McLaughlin said the online presence had been so successful the shire may include virtual events as part of the festival in future.

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