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"Doing our part to help prevent a second spike" as events cancelled

An image from Party On The Green 2016

A series of high-profile community events on Paignton seafront have all been cancelled.

The list includes Paignton Festival (July 25th – Aug 2nd), Paignton Regatta (Aug 8th – Aug 16th) and Children’s Week (Torbay) (Aug 18th – Aug 22nd) - the English Riviera Bike Festival was cancelled in March, shortly before the lockdown.

The English Riviera Green Spaces group committees have also ruled out the possibility of staging their events at a future date this year.

The group, who meet regularly in order to exchange ideas and work together say they have 'taken advice from many different agencies including local and national groups'. 

In a joint statement they say 'decisions were made by each committee, after much deliberation and a thorough evaluation and risk assessment for each event'. 

Paul Northey, Co-ordinator of the English Riviera Green Spaces group said: “We had very much hoped that the situation in the UK will have improved significantly by the summer. 

"However, given Government social distancing measures, it will simply not be possible to for the events to continue this year.” 
Ken Robertson, Chairman of Paignton Regatta added: “The Regatta committee is deeply saddened to have to cancel the 2020 event. 

"However, we feel this is the right decision, both for the safety of our volunteers and the general public. We will now begin planning a bigger and better event for 2021."

All three events are steeped in the history of Torbay with Paignton Regatta in its 173rd year, Paignton Festival (formally Torbay Carnival) over 100 years old and Children’s week being the longest running children’s festival in the UK.

Michael Bailey, Chairman of Paignton Festival added: "It is with the heaviest heart that the Senior Management Team and committee at Paignton Festival had to make the most difficult decision to cancel this year’s event. 

"In over 110 years of our event running, we have never had to make this decision before, and while it is a difficult decision, it is definitely the best one to have made in light of the current pandemic across the world – and in doing our part to help prevent a second spike. 

"Our entire committee is deeply saddened that it has come to this, but we are all now pulling together in order to bring us back in 2021 bigger and better than ever before."

Matthew Dart, Chairman of Children’s Week (Torbay) said:  "The Children’s Week team are really sad that we have had to make the decision to cancel this year, but fully understand it is the right decision to make as the safety of all our visitors and volunteers is paramount. 

"It will be the first time we have not been able to go ahead with the event since 1946 and we know this will come as a disappointment for many children and families who attend each year. 

"We have already started to plan for a bigger event in 2021 and look forward to seeing you all there, 17th – 21st August 2021."

Mike Morey, Torbay Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “It is sad that many of our key events, that are so popular with residents and visitors, have to be cancelled due to the current situation. 

"However, the safety of our residents and visitors is paramount so we must adhere to government guidance. Hopefully, we will see many of our local events return next year."

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