This year’s Torquay Christmas Carnival would have been its 30th - but organisers have been forced to cancel

Disappointed Torquay Christmas Carnival organisers Mike Bailey (left) and Stephen HoldupDisappointed Torquay Christmas Carnival organisers Mike Bailey (left) and Stephen Holdup

Organisers have been forced to cancel this year’s Torquay’s Christmas Carnival.

This year’s spectacle, planned for November 21, would have been its 30th year.

Stephen Holdup and Mike Bailey and a strong support team behind the scenes have organised the successful event in the past. It has always attracted thousands of people to the town centre in Torquay and has been the highlight of the Christmas countdown festivities for decades.

Stephen says: “Very reluctantly we have come to this difficult decision, which will have a huge impact on retailers and the public. You spend all these years building a dream, just to be snatched away in these exceptional circumstances.”

He added: “The mainstay of this event has always been the large illuminated floats from all the different carnival clubs across the West Country

“Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, all the Summer Carnivals including the famous Bridgewater have been cancelled. Consequently , there has been no building of the floats - and hence no solid visual spectacle for our event.”

He said he, Mike and the team were ‘eternally grateful’ to their main supporters in recent years, Interline Building Supplies. “Without them there would have been no event,” said Stephen.

“We thank the Interline family for all their help through and through and maybe in 2021 we can all return to some kind of normality.”

Another factor in the decision was a ban on large crowds. Stephen said: “Who knows where things will stand in November, but planning begins in early summer so the prospect of the level of rules and regulations that might have to be implemented would be too overwhelming for our small team of volunteers. It is, of course , paramount to consider people’s safety first.”

He added: “The many thousands who attend every year will be saddened. However, we feel they will understand this year. As they say we are all in this together.

“Over the years, many thousands of pounds have been collected for countless local charities. So it has to be onwards and upwards and here’s hoping we can reach our 30th anniversary on November 20, 2021.”