Witney Feast will not take place this year. The difficult decision to cancel was taken by Witney Town Council after much deliberation at an Extraordinary Full Council meeting last night.
Working closely with the organisers, Bob Wilson Funfairs Ltd, in consultation with the Showmen’s Guild; and taking advice from other regulatory bodies, concerns remain about the impact the fair could have on the town, given the anticipated size of the crowd and the risk that poses to public health.
The disappointing news follows in the wake of the recent cancellation of St Giles fair in Oxford by the London & Home Counties Section of the Showmen’s Guild and Oxford City Council.
It is frustrating that in such an unsettling and unpredictable time, a well-loved and historic local fair such as The Feast is to be added to the list of abandoned and postponed events this year, but protecting large numbers of people in open spaces is challenging and complex, even when there is no pandemic to take into account.
Witney Town Council would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts and contributions to trying to find a way to allow the Feast to go ahead and looks forward to working together next year and a successful outcome for 2021.
Cllr Luci Ashbourne, Leader of the Council remarked,
“In these difficult and unprecedented times we are forced to make difficult and unprecedented decisions. As upsetting as it is to have to postpone this year’s Feast, the council were not confident that the risks to the people of Witney during this pandemic could be mitigated, and the safety of the public is paramount. We look forward to the return of our cherished fair when this dreadful situation has passed, which will surely be even more of a celebratory occasion than usual.”