ONE of Wokingham borough’s biggest fundraising events has been cancelled for the second year in a row, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wokingham Lions’ Club has pulled the plug on its annual May Fayre, which had been due to take place on Monday, May 3.
The event sees local groups and charities run stalls to help boost their coffers, as well as a wealth of entertainment including Circus Scene, morris dancing and magic shows.
And local groups are given a chance to entertain audiences on the main stage.
However, with new strains of the coronavirus being more easily passed on, and the vaccination programme still in place, organisers have decided to follow the lead of the Glastonbury music festival and cancel now rather than wait until nearer the time.
The Lions said that the decision was made after consultation with local authorities.
Ian Grange, organiser of the May Fayre, said that the decision was difficult to make.
“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we must protect the health and safety of the public,” he said.
“For the second consecutive year, we greatly regret that this means having to cancel our biggest fundraising event that not only supports local charities and community groups, but also provides a showcase for local talent on our stages and for local businesses.”
Acknowledging that the event helped groups receive funding, he pledged that the group would find alternative ways to help, just as the Winter Carnival organisers did last year.
“We are currently exploring the possibility of creating some smaller events later this year,” he said.
Last year’s event would have been a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, marking the end of the Second World War, and have taken place on Friday, May 8. However, it was cancelled as the country was still in lockdown as a result of the first wave of the pandemic.
It would have been one of the first events to have taken place in the new Elms Field, and would have included a funfair, a petting zoo and a variety of rides in addition to the stalls.
The event was launched in 1995, and is one of the largest street fairs in southern England.
The Lions aim to make it a low-cost family day out that celebrates the town’s culture.
President of Wokingham Lions Club, Nigel Page, said: “I’d like to thank the Wokingham Town Council and the community for their support of this event.
“Our efforts will continue for future events, and all the other things we do to support local people, both now and in the future.
“We look forward to next year’s May Fayre on 2nd May 2022.”