A popular funfair will make a return to Oswestry this weekend following the cancellation of one of the town’s major annual events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But while people are being encouraged to make the most of the rides in Cae Glas Park over the bank holiday, uncertainty looms over other the community events scheduled for the rest of the year and into 2021.

With the Balloon Carnival already called off, Oswestry Town Councillors were told at a meeting on Wednesday that they would be asked to decide the fate of the Bonfire Night celebrations, Christmas Music Festival, Christmas Music Live and the Youth Music Festival at their September meeting.

Town clerk Arren Roberts said: “We have got some decisions to make and clearly we want to make decisions before there is any expenditure.

“We are having discussions with partners, for example with the Rotary Club about bonfire night, and clearly we need to take into account government advice.

“It’s very difficult to see that the bonfire evening will be able to be carried out under the current guidelines.”

Border Counties Advertizer:

Councillor Vince Hunt said: “Hopefully we will be able to do what we can but what is paramount is keeping people safe.

“Fingers crossed we can do it all but we will see.”

Questions were asked about whether a Remembrance Sunday service would be held, and Mr Roberts assured members the day would be marked in some form.

He said: “We are meeting with the Royal British Legion over the next couple of weeks to see where they are up to with their planning, and also Reverend Gibbons over the church service.

“We will have something in Oswestry but it will need to be within government guidance.”

Councillor Peter Cherrington, who is involved in organising the Youth Music Festival through the council’s leisure and amenities sub-committee, said discussions were already underway over the possibility of taking the festival – scheduled for March 2021 – online if no physical event could be held.

He said: “It is imperative that we keep our hands close to the wheel. We are talking about over 1,000 children, probably 1,200 children.

“We are looking at alternative options, God forbid, if this carries on.

“We could do the music festival, in theory, through Zoom. Our meeting with the music team is in September.

“Like everything else, we are limited and we are restricted to what the government guidelines give us.”

Members also asked whether the balloon carnival was likely to return next summer.

Border Counties Advertizer:

Mr Roberts said: “We have been in conversation with the balloon carnival organisers over the last couple of days.

“There aren’t any plans for anything this year, but they would like to do a couple of flights from the park and we have got confirmation to allow them to do that.

“I am optimistic for next year.”

Due to the cancellation of the festival, the town council had received a request from Alan Stokes of Stokes Funfair to put on a limited number of fairground rides in Cae Glas Park over the bank holiday weekend.

This request was unanimously welcomed by councillors, with Councillor Vince Hunt saying: “I think if we can help facilitate anything that would be a good thing.

“The poor youngsters have lost enough already this year. I’m quite happy, provided there are no Covid concerns, that it has to be a good thing.

“The sooner we can get some things going again the better as far as I’m concerned.”