Wisbech Rose Fair is off for a second year thanks to Covid-19
An annual Fenland church flower festival which attracts visitors from all over the country has been cancelled for a second summer thanks to the pandemic.
St Peter’s Parochial Church Council has “reluctantly” agreed that Rose Fair 2021 can not go ahead because of the Covid situation.
The decision, which was made at a recent PCC meeting, has been communicated to various other organisations including members of Wisbech Churches Together, which also take part in the highly popular event.
In a letter written Val Spriggs, secretary of the Rose Fair Committee, explained: “Concern was expressed that even if we were able to go ahead visitor numbers would be down and we would be unlikely to cover the high costs associated with organising the flower festival in church.”
She continued: “2021 will also be a difficult year as the church will be undergoing major restoration work and will certainly not be at its best for visitors.
“We therefore took the decision to cancel and will, if circumstances allow, undertake some fundraising activities on a much smaller scale.
“I have communicated the decision to our own Rose Fair Committee members but would be grateful if you could pass this letter on to members of other organisations in order to ensure that they are made aware of the situation.”
The event, which is normally held in July centres around the flower festival in St Peter’s Church, which attracts coachloads of visitors to the town during the week in the lead up to the annual Rose Fair Parade, which organised separately by Wisbech Round Table.
It too attracts thousands of people to watch the two parades of floats on the second Saturday in July, however the Round Table decided last October to cancel this year's parade.
Jay Hubbard, of the Round Table, explained the decision was taken in the autumn because of the amount of time and money needed to plan it - including organising road closures.
He said there were concerns over whether it would be able to go ahead at that time because of the pandemic and also if it did go ahead whether people would want to take part and come to watch.
The Rose Fair started in1963 when local rose growers sold rose buds in the St Peter’s Church in aid of its restoration fund. The 900-year-old church still uses tthe event to raise funds for the upkeep of its ancient building, but over the years, the Rose Fair has grown into a town festival.
Many of the town’s other churches and venues, including shops play their part with each church offering stunning floral displays, hospitality and refreshments, and the businesses decorating there shop windows.