Food and drink festivals for Weston and Burnhan cancelled

Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds with Weston mayor Mark Canniford and mayoress Estelle Canniford.

Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds with Weston mayor Mark Canniford and mayoress Estelle Canniford. - Credit: Archant

Food and drink festivals planned for Weston and Burnham have been cancelled due to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Eat:Christmas was due to take place in Weston on December 13 and eat:Burnham was planned for December 5, but eat:Festivals organisers have decided to cancel the events due to an increase in coronavirus cases in the area.

Organiser Sarah Milner Simonds said: “We have made many adaptations to our operating model and delivered six safe, welcoming events this summer in Portishead, Minehead, Wellington, Yeovil, Weston and Nailsea.

“These events have given the communities we work with an opportunity to shop for local food and drink in the open air – but the situation has changed and the infection rate is rising locally.

“Despite our adaptations and mitigations the only way for us to contribute to the protection of public health is to cancel the four events planned for Taunton, Burnham, Minehead and Weston.

“This is done with heavy hearts but our producers’ and the public’s safety are our primary concerns.

“We looked at how we could adapt the market further but the consensus was that, in these conditions, the event is too popular to be able to maintain the covid-secure status we have worked so hard to achieve.”

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Organisers made the decision on Friday before the national lockdown was announced.

Bev Milner Simonds added: “For many of the micro and small food and drink businesses the events we delivered this summer were the only face-to-face (or mask-to-visor) trading opportunities of the whole year.

“We will be posting our trader contact details on social media and enhancing their listings on our website, so please do buy from these businesses if you can.

“We are looking forward to showcasing a great range of local producers in a town near you in the spring.”

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the district council environmental health teams and Somerset County Council Public Health have been working with event organisers such as eat:Festivals, to ensure that events in Somerset proceed and comply with the Covid-19 secure standards established by central government, with the aim of reducing the risk of transmission of the virus.

A representative of the director of public health for Somerset said: “Eat:Festivals have done everything we have asked of them (and more) to ensure that events go ahead with the minimum of risk.”

To find out more about the festivals and the producers who attend, click here.