Royston Kite Festival and vehicle show cancelled due to coronavirus uncertainty

PUBLISHED: 17:01 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 04 May 2020

Royston Kite Festival - pictured in 2017 -  and Historic Vehicle Show will not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Neil Heywood

Royston Kite Festival - pictured in 2017 - and Historic Vehicle Show will not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Neil Heywood

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There will be no Royston Kite Festival and Historic Vehicle Show this year – with organisers saying “uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic have made it impossible to plan such a complex event”.

Royston Kite Festival - pictured in 2017 -  and Historic Vehicle Show will not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Neil HeywoodRoyston Kite Festival - pictured in 2017 - and Historic Vehicle Show will not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Neil Heywood

Royston Rotary Club have run the festival on Therfield Heath since 2000 – they had already put in work towards this year’s event, but announced on Monday that it would not go ahead.

Rotarian Ray Munden, who is the kite festival’s event manager, said: “We thought it was likely that large gatherings will still be forbidden on health grounds in August, so even though quite a lot of effort has already been put into arranging the event, any further effort would be wasted.

“Our club’s council took the view that in these very uncertain times it would be better to cancel the 2020 event and focus on making next year’s a real humdinger.

“The real sadness is that this year, a number of charities won’t receive the large donations we planned to make from festival proceeds.”

Royston Kite Festival - pictured in 2017 -  and Historic Vehicle Show will not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Neil HeywoodRoyston Kite Festival - pictured in 2017 - and Historic Vehicle Show will not take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Neil Heywood

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The festival is Royston Rotary’s flagship event of the year, bringing in thousands of spectators from the area on the first Sunday in August.

More than £100,000 has been raised for community charities since Royston Rotary Club took it over two decades ago, and it has become a major highlight in the town’s social calendar.

During the family day out, many groups arrive with their own chairs and picnic hampers in order to see a huge variety of kites being flown by organised and professional kite-flying teams.

Youngsters also take part in sessions where they bring their own kites along, enjoy arts and crafts and there is usually an extremely popular teddy bear drop if the weather allows. There are also lots of stalls for people to check out.

Instead of the kite festival however, Royston Rotary Club members intend to run a ‘virtual balloon race’ for the community in September.

Rotarians have said the race will be heavily promoted in the weeks ahead – so look out for more details – and they are confident that they can still raise some money for one of the local charities.

For more information on Royston Rotary Club, go to their website www.roystonrotary.com.


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