FIESTA La Peel has been cancelled as the threat of COVID-19 draws closer to the region.
Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray said the tough decision to cancel celebration of culture was made amid growing concern about the hot spots that have emerged around Sydney and the Hunter New England Health district.
"We are concerned that spread may emanate our way, my appeal to residents is to please be vigilant, please be careful, please observe social distancing," he said.
"It's up to all of us to ensure Tamworth doesn't become the next regional hot spot, we don't want to be there.
"We want to keep our people in jobs and keep the economy rolling along."
Fiesta La Peel was set to go ahead in October and is the region's biggest display of global culture with tasting plates from the Middle East, Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, Europe and South America among many others.
It celebrates not only culture but traditional costume and performance, and has been postponed until October 16, 2021.
It was a regrettable decision, Cr Murray said, but one that had to be made by the organising committee on the advice of health officials.
"I believe it's the only decision we could make," he said.
"It's a responsible decision, we can't place our community at the forefront of a potential risk like that and we've seen extraordinary growth in that festival over the years.
"It's such an exciting thing and it would be irresponsible to put the fantastic growth of that event at risk."
It's not clear what the economic benefit of the event is to the city, but in 2019 more than 40 countries of origin were represented.
Cr Murray used the opportunity at a press conference on Friday to remind residents that the recent cases in Sydney and the Hunter New England Health district are "a warning shot across our bows".
"We got through the first phase of lockdown, we don't want to go into another lockdown so the only way we can prevent that is by being diligent, vigilant and disciplined in the way we protect ourselves and those around us," he said.