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Major outdoor events cancelled this autumn/ winter

Major outdoor events scheduled to take place this autumn and into the Christmas period have been cancelled following the announcement of recent restrictions to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The government ruling that outdoor mass gatherings should not take place where social distancing can’t be controlled and maintained, will affect a number of high profile annual events, including Wirral’s Bonfire night community displays, the River of Light fireworks spectacular and Remembrance Sunday services at the cenotaph in Hamilton Square.

Wirral’s annual Bonfire night displays usually attract more than 14,000 people to seven different parks and last year’s River of Light attracted more than 50,000 to New Brighton.

Several thousands of people also pay their respects at the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the cenotaph in Hamilton Square.

Residents should not arrange their own community events and gatherings in place of the cancellation of these events - services can only be held internally in line with latest government guidelines and no outside parades, commemorations should be held.

All requests to hold events (such as firework displays, Christmas markets and Christmas light switch on events), no matter how large or small, will be refused for public safety.

Cllr Janette Williamson, Leader of Wirral Council, says: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have had to cancel these important events but we could not bring thousands of people together and risk exposing them to coronavirus - people’s health has to be our priority.

“Remembrance Sunday is hugely important for families around the borough and whilst we can’t mark this year’s commemorations together this, I invite residents to join us remotely as we pay our respects at home.”

Further details of how to join Wirral Council’s virtual service will be released shortly.

Although the decision to cancel the Remembrance Sunday commemorations will affect all outdoor services at war memorials across the borough, including Hamilton Square, Port Sunlight, New Brighton and West Kirby, many churches will still go ahead with indoor services on the day, in line with current social distancing protocols.