A HOST of popular summer events in Christchurch that were hoped to have been held later in the summer have been cancelled amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Among those axed are the town’s food festival, which last year attracted more than 60,000 visitors, and the RNLI Mudeford Fun Day
Organisers of the events have said they will not go ahead this year because of the ongoing lockdown.
Also affected are the Mudeford art and seafood festivals, and the Bournemouth Air Show. The Christchurch carnival will also not go ahead this year.
News of the cancellations was announced by BCP Council. It said the decision to stop all outdoor events until the end of August 2020 had been “difficult”.
Council leader Cllr Vikki Slade said more than £32m was generated by the events which are normally held over the summer. But the council said it had no choice but to stop them going ahead in order to protect public health.
Cllr Slade said: “Cancelling major events and festivals is a decision we don’t take lightly
“Our NHS and emergency services have coped incredibly well during the Covid-19 pandemic and we would not want to risk this changing, or to try to manage events while adhering to government measures and advice, including on social distancing.”
Organisers of Christchurch Food Festival, which was planned for 8-10th May, said they “fully supported” the decision, saying: “We believe it is the right one for the health of visitors, traders and our staff.
“We would like to thank BCP and Christchurch Town Council, all our fabulous traders and every single one of the suppliers and contractors that help to make the festival what it is. We know everyone is going through a very difficult time.
“These are extraordinary times and we sincerely hope that you are all coping as best you can and staying healthy.
“From our perspective, things are tough but we do believe that we will get through this and we look forward to bringing you a comeback festival next year that will be something to look forward to.”
RNLI Mudeford announced the cancellation of the fun day due to take place on 9th August on its website saying the decision had been made with “deep regret”.