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Haverhill Christmas event with free fireworks cancelled due to Covid safety concerns



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Haverhill's popular Family Christmas Night and free fireworks display on Friday, December 3 has had to be cancelled because not enough trained marshals can be recruited to make the event covid-safe.

Despite the disappointment, however, Haverhill Town Council has announced that many aspects of its popular Winter in Haverhill weekend will still take place.

Haverhill town clerk Colin Poole explained the decision: "Covid-19 continues to throw us some serious challenges.

A packed High Street during the Haverhill Family Christmas Night in December 2019.Mark Bullimore Photography 2019
A packed High Street during the Haverhill Family Christmas Night in December 2019.Mark Bullimore Photography 2019

"Because of Covid, we needed to look at how the late-night shopping and fireworks could operate given our duty of care with regards to covid safety.

“In the past over 6,000 people have attended the event which is packed into just a few hours. This year however we have been unable to recruit the number of trained volunteer marshals required to steward crowds of that density safely.

“The major challenge with regard to the firework display is the centrally-located Recreation Ground.

Thousands of people crowd onto Haverhill Recreation Ground for the free fireworks show at the end of the Haverhill Family Christmas Night, as pictured here in 2019. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography 2019
Thousands of people crowd onto Haverhill Recreation Ground for the free fireworks show at the end of the Haverhill Family Christmas Night, as pictured here in 2019. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography 2019

"The layout of residential streets surrounding the park and the space required to carry out the display legally and safely means that spectators are forced to congregate in a very small area.

“The Town Council knows this event has been a favourite in the town calendar and hope to re-instate it as soon as possible.”

The good news is that smaller scale events will happen, as these do not require a high level of stewarding.

On Thursday, November 18 at 6pm the new Christmas Lights will be switched on by Haverhill Mayor, Cllr Liz Smith and Haver the Dane, the gigantic special guest who first appeared in town in early September.

Street entertainers like this are a part of the annual Haverhill Family Christmas Night, which has been cancelled this year. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography 2019
Street entertainers like this are a part of the annual Haverhill Family Christmas Night, which has been cancelled this year. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography 2019

Prior to the switch on at 5.45pm there will be a fire-show and children will show-off their hand-decorated Christmas lanterns.

In the town centre on Saturday, December 4 charity market stalls and festive street entertainers will be out in force (between 10am and 3pm) so that shoppers can combine Christmas shopping whilst lending their support to local charities and getting entertained into the bargain.

The Christmas Craft Fayre at Haverhill Arts Centre will still take place on Friday, December 3 from 5pm to 8pm and again on Saturday between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Haverhill Family Christmas Night. The fireworks display at the end of the night. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography 2019.
Haverhill Family Christmas Night. The fireworks display at the end of the night. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography 2019.

On Saturdays between November 20 and December 18 there will also be various Christmas themed activities, workshops and entertainment in the town centre.

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