RINGWOOD carnival has been cancelled for only the second time in its near 100-year history because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event was scheduled for 19th September but on Monday morning Alix Gardner, press officer for the popular carnival, announced its postponement in a YouTube video.
She said: “The safety health and wellbeing of the Ringwood carnival spectators, participants, showman and traders, volunteers and officials, sponsors and all those associated with our event is our top priority.
“We know many will be disappointed that there will be no carnival day this year and for most this will be the first year there is no processions through their town in their lifetime.
“As far as we known carnival has only had to cancel once in its nearly 100-year history – for the Second World War.”
She said the organisers and sponsors thanked people for support and “looked forward to planning and seeing you all at next year’s event”.
The carnival regularly attracts thousands of people and involves two processions – one at 2pm and another torchlit one at 7.30pm, which undertake the same route, as well as a fun fair and other activities on the Bickerley Village Green, whie musical acts perform at various spots.
Floats compete for the Best of Show Tom Gamage trophy, which carries a £500 top prize that can be donated to the winner’s chosen charity, as well as other accolades – such as The Jade Clarke Trophy for the best young entry, and the Catweazle Trophy for best walking offering.