Kite Festival cancelled after lockdown extension

Royston's annual kite festival is set to return this summer

Royston's annual Kite Festival has been cancelled for the second year running - Credit: Royston Rotary Club

Royston's Kite Festival has been cancelled for a second year following the Government announcement that restrictions on large gatherings will continue until July 19.

The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Royston and was due to take place on August 1 - but the club is concerned that restrictions could be extended further.

Club president Martin Berry said: "Our decision is a direct consequence of the Government’s announcement to extend the current COVID restrictions until at least July 19 – only two weeks before the Festival is scheduled to take place.

"We recognise that if all restrictions were lifted on July 19 it could go ahead,  but we cannot be sure that they will, and if we have to cancel late in the day, we would incur costs that we cannot recover.

"It was a very difficult decision for us to take. We run the festival both to raise funds for charity and as a service to the people Royston.

"Our priority must be their safety and that of all the participants, and we remain concerned about the possible risks of running such a large multigenerational event so close to the end of restrictions."

Organisers had expected to attract thousands to the festival on Therfield Heath, with kites flown by professional teams, a historic vehicle show, a tombola, a bouncy castle and more.

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Mr Berry added: "I do hope everyone understands why we have very reluctantly decided to do this and, on behalf of the club, I apologise.

"We very much hope to be back again next year, and in the meantime we are very busy looking at alternative ways to raise money for charity. Watch this space!"