Malmesbury’s Carnival Procession, scheduled for Saturday, has been cancelled.

The event has been called off after only ‘a handful’ of entries were received.

A spokesperson for the carnival said: “The Carnival Procession is rightly regarded by everyone as the highlight of our Carnival Festival.

“Indeed, for many, Procession is Carnival, an event which brings all the people of Malmesbury together.

“But Procession can only go ahead with the full involvement of the community and of all the many and various organisations within the town.

“Sadly, though understandably, many of the groups that have participated in Procession over the past few years are finding it hard during the pandemic, to come together to create the floats which are such a feature of this wonderful, crowd pleasing and money raising event.

“With an event like Procession involving road closures, the emergency services and the help of numerous volunteers and stewards, we have taken the difficult decision that with only a handful of entries, we cannot justify running the event this year.

“This is disappointing news, particularly for those who have been preparing for this year’s event, but let’s not despair!

“Despite the challenges provided, a great festival has been achieved thanks to the fantastic efforts of committee, volunteers, and the various acts, contributors and participants. Not to mention a whole host of amazing sponsors who also believe in Carnival and our amazing community the way we all do.”

Despite the disappointment of cancelling the Procession, and the difficulties associated with organising this year’s Carnival, more than 30 events have been delivered.

Petticoat Lane and Music In The Cloisters events took place last weekend.

The Carnival will culminate on Sunday with the grand raffle at St Mary’s Hall from 3-4pm and Carnival Thanksgiving at Malmesbury Abbey from 4-6pm.

Danter’s Funfair will also be in the Station Road car park on Friday and Saturday.

“Help us finish on a high and to set our sights on next year’s extravaganza, when more favourable conditions and time to plan will allow us to run the type of ‘full-on’ Procession that we all know and love,” the spokesperson added.

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