CANCELLED – Budleigh’s Gala Week called off due to coronavirus

Budleigh Salterton Gala Week has been cancelled due to coronavirus. Ref exb 22-16AW 8641. Picture: A

Budleigh Salterton Gala Week has been cancelled due to coronavirus. Ref exb 22-16AW 8641. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Budleigh’s annual festival of fundraising for good causes has been cancelled due to coronavirus.

Lions Club Budleigh Salterton has confirmed all of its events until ‘at least’ June 1 have been called off, which includes Gala Week.

The Government have advised people to avoid large gatherings including pubs and clubs, and only travel if necessary.

Gala Week, which features a range of events aimed at raising much-needed funds for charity, was set to take place between Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 31.

Geoff Paver, of the Lions Club, said the decision was made in response to the latest briefings and instructions from the Government.

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He said: “We have spoken in detail about the guidelines that are being put in place, and with guidance from Lions Club International, we have concluded that all Lions Club events shall be cancelled until at least June 1.

“A decision as to what happens after that date would be made closer to that date.”

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The Lions Club has also cancelled its Sunday night quizzes held at the Dog and Donkey in Knowle Village, as well as the bingo events at the Public Hall, Station Road, in May and June.

Gala Week annually draws huge crowds to Budleigh for a number of events including an opening day parade which features the crowning of the event’s royal family.

Some of the more popular events include the big breakfast at the Public Hall, a pebble building competition on the beach and a fun run along the seafront.

Several local and national charities including Cancer Research UK, Hospiscare and Prostate Cancer UK benefit from funds raised during the eight-day event.

The cancellation comes after other community events have been called off, including Exmouth Festival.

Devon County Show has been postponed until August.

Mr Paver added: “We are sorry this has come to this, especially as everyone concerned has put in so much work into organising these events, but we must ensure the safety of the general public, other organisations and Lions members.”

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