Barnstaple Carnival has been cancelled for this year, organisers have regretfully announced.

Barnstaple Carnival 2019. Picture: AW PhotographicBarnstaple Carnival 2019. Picture: AW Photographic

The flagship event had been scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 19 for its 74th year as the culmination of Barnstaple Fair week.

Barnstaple Fair Carnival committee said it had been carefully following the daily coronavirus updates and taking note of the restrictions.

A statement on behalf of chairman John White and secretary Irene Hockin said: “Although other local carnivals and events have announced their cancellation for this year, it was really hoped that we would be able to continue with ours – even, perhaps, in a different form.

“As time goes on it has become obvious that mass gatherings will be discouraged for the foreseeable future, and so it is after much consideration, and regret, that we have had to take the decision to cancel this year’s carnival.”

But they said with 2021 the 75th anniversary year of Barnstaple Fair Carnival, they were planning for it to be a big celebration with carnival on Saturday, September 18.

The only other time it had to be cancelled was during World War Two.

It has yet to be confirmed if Barnstaple Fair itself will also be cancelled.