Parade goes on but it's end of the road for Rose Fair Flower Festival
Wisbech Round Table has issued a rallying cry to schools, groups and businesses to take part in the annual Rose Fair parades.
The plea came just hours after Angela Sanders, secretary of the parochial church council for the town St Peter and St Paul's Church, announced they would no longer be organising the nationally renowned Rose Fair flower festival.
For nearly 60 years the church has organised the Wisbech Rose Fair Flower Festival attracting thousands of visitors to the town on coaches from across the country.
It was a major fundraising event for the church itself, as well as other churches and charities in the town and was accompanied by two parades organised by Wisbech Round Table and involving dozens of floats entered by schools, businesses and organisations.
However, Mrs Sanders said the church no longer has enough young and able churchgoers to carry on with the festival which sees the historic 900-year-old church filled with amazing floral displays created around a theme by local flower arrangers and members of the congregation.
Previously St Peter's was the catalyst for the event organising the Rose Fair Committee working with other churches in the town as well as alongside the Round Table to provide a four-day festival including charity stalls in the church gardens, and all culminating in two parades on the Saturday.
But she said the church has had to say "a sad farewell to our participation in the event" blaming a lack of younger people able to devote the time and effort needed to ensure the event's success.
However, Rob Williams, chairman of the Round Table, said despite the sad announcement from the church, his organisation was still intending to run the parade again - it and the flower festival have both been cancelled for the past two years because of the pandemic.
Posting to social media he said: " The Rose Fair parade has been an integral part of Wisbech life for decades and we want to make sure future generations can experience it.
"We would like to thank St Peter's and St Paul's church on behalf of everyone in the two for their decades of hard work and the memories they have helped create for everyone in the town."
He appealed for support from all the schools and local groups that normally take part and added: "More details will be released in due course but having been forced to cancel the last two years we want to make 2022 the biggest and best parade ever."