St Annes Kite Festival set to fly again - with caution
St Annes Kite Festival is set to return in September - but in a format reduced from when it was last held in 2019, in a bid to ensure safety from any possible Covid infection.
The event which in past years has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the beach and promenade is to take place over three days, from Friday, September 3 to Sunday, September 5 inclusive, from 11am to 5pm each day.
It comes just a few weeks after what would have been the dates for the Lytham 1940s Wartime Weekend, now already called off because of concerns over social distancing on The Green.
At the Kite Festival, kite fliers will be spread much further out on the beach than previously which organisers Fylde Council, also in charge of the 1940s weekend, hope will help discourage and disperse crowds.
Tim Dixon, Fylde Council’s tourism and cultural services manager, said: “Being careful on all things Covid and not knowing where we will be in September, we are cautiously proceeding, but the Festival will look different as we want to assure ourselves of being as careful as we can.
“The Friday night illuminated kites and fireworks are out as it is impossible to look to social distance people in the dark where we can’t control numbers. We would hope to bring this back in 2022 of course
“Also, there will be no additional stalls as we can’t have bottle necks on the prom which would cause extra congestion.
“We have the full support of and are working closely with kite flier group Smile Factor 10 and health and safety concerns will be paramount at all times.
“Of course, it is also weather-dependent, but the event would only take place if we could be assured we can do it safely, so at this stage, we are confident we can proceed and put on a great Festival again.”
Colin Ballard, chairman of the St Annes Enterprise Partnership, said: "It will be good to see the Kite Festival back - it is an important event for the town, but the cautious approach is essential and I would remind people going along of the need to socially distance."
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