Will the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre go ahead this year?

The cathedral's festive fair was organised as an alternative to the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre Picture: GREGG BROWN

Will Bury St Edmunds see scenes like this again in November 2021? - Credit: Gregg Brown

The decision over whether to stage the award-winning Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre later this year is still up in the air due to uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The popular fayre, which regularly attracts around 130,000 people over four days in November, was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus crisis.  

The event attracts people from all over the country and different parts of the world, who come to enjoy one of the biggest festive markets in the UK. 

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre was cancelled in March due to the coronavirus crisis Picture: GREGG BROWN

The fayre regularly attracts around 130,000 - Credit: Gregg Brown

West Suffolk Council made the decision to cancel the 2020 event on March 30, seven days after the country went into its first lockdown.

The council said at the time that due to uncertainty surrounding the virus and the early planning which has to take place, it was not possible for the fayre to go ahead. 

Speaking at the time, John Griffiths, West Suffolk Council leader, said planning for the fayre "is a massive task" and much has to be booked early. 

The council added that the move to cancel last year's event would "free up officer time and council resources" to support businesses and their recovery in the future. 

It will certainly be another difficult decision for council bosses this year, with an ever-changing coronavirus picture wreaking havoc with any future event planning. 

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The festive fayre, which sees around 300 stalls situated around the town centre and the Abbey Gardens, has a huge economic impact on the town. 

Children at the parade in Bury St Edmunds last night which opened the Christmas Fayre. Picture: WEST

The fayre was last held in 2019 - Credit: Archant

It is understood that no decision has yet made on the 2021 event in November. 

A spokesman for the council said: “Given that we are still at the height of a pandemic and the council and its partner organisations' immediate work is around supporting the survival of our communities and businesses, we are not in a position to answer this at this time.”

The last time the fayre took place - in 2019 - the event was hailed as one of the "best so far" by business leaders, with thousands of people enjoying the food, entertainment and festive-themed activities. 

Meanwhile, the council has announced that the Bury Festival, which takes place in a number of venues around the town in May, has been cancelled for 2021 due to the pandemic

Jo Rayner, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and community hubs, said: “It is a real shame that the festival won’t take place again this year.

"But with so much uncertainty surrounding when venues will be open again and how many tickets we would be able to sell for each event, it has made it very difficult to put a programme together for the festival."