Garstang Christmas Festival is cancelled for another year due to Covid-19

Organisers have pulled the plug on plans to host the Victorian Christmas Festival in Garstang for a second year due to Covid-19 worries.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 12:30 pm

Independent traders behind the planning over the popular annual Christmas festival have said that they have had to cancel again this year due to concerns over Covid-19.

In a public statement, a spokesperson for the festival committee said that worries over 'huge visitor numbers' is one of the main reasons behind the rescheduling.

And they added that months of work needed to organise the large scale event would 'not be responsible' during the current pandemic.

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Event organisers have pulled the plug on this years' event due to concerns over Covid-19

It comes as the event was also cancelled in December of 2020 for similar reasons, as Garstang Town Council councillors stepped in and hosted a socially distanced mini-celebration event instead, in the Cherestanc Square.

A statement yesterday, August 25, read: "Once again, the committee of the Garstang Victorian Christmas Festival has had a very difficult decision to make.

"As a hugely popular and busy community event, we know that the festival plays an important role in the Garstang community calendar - but as a non ticketed, free event, we are aware of the huge visitor numbers the evenings attract.

"Whilst this is fantastic for the atmosphere of the festival, we are aware that, in light of the current COVID situation, this is not ideal.

It is the second year that the popular annual event has been cancelled

"We have therefore taken the decision to cancel this year's festival that would have been held in December.

"This decision has not been taken lightly, but with months of work needed in the background to organise such a large scale event, we have taken the view that organising such a gathering in light of the current pandemic would not be responsible, as we value the safety of our committee members, volunteers and of the community.

"We look forward to 2022 with our fingers crossed that the Garstang Victorian Christmas Festival can make its return."

The Festival takes place on the evenings of the second Monday and Tuesday in December, from 6 pm until 9 pm, with the town centre temporarily closed to traffic.

The announcement was met with upset from festival-goers, who remarked that they would 'have to go to the Manchester markets instead', with others questioning why large scale sporting and entertainments events could go ahead without restrictions, but not the festival.

The annual Garstang Show also went ahead earlier this month as normal, including indoor events.

Concerns were also raised about the survival of independent businesses, with one user commenting: "It's a shame that the businesses that would normally take part are now losing a night where they could be making some much-needed money."

Alec Allan, Mayor of Garstang said: "I really feel for the organisers because it won't have been an easy decision to make. This will be disappointing for the people in businesses locally and the community of Garstang.

"It also draws people from the wider population into the town from all over because it is a really big successful event each year. It has been a tremendous festival in the past.

"It is a two-night event, the first night is usually more popular than the second but it still gets people coming to the area. It is a chance for businesses to give something back to their customers for their support.

"It is a big community event but we have to respect their decision as it wouldn't have been taken lightly."

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