By Nigel Slater 07/06 Updated: 07/06 16:17
THIS weekend's Evesham Balloon Festival will still go ahead despite organisers cancelling any balloon launches because of safety concerns.
With weather forecasts predicting gusts of wind of up to 30mph on Saturday and Sunday (June 9 and 10), a decision was made to withdraw the line-up of hot air balloons floating up from Crown Meadow to protect the safety of visitors.
But the show will go on and will feature stunt kite flying displays, live music, classic cars, fun fair rides, a wide variety of stalls and many other attractions throughout the two-day event.
Kevin Jones, of Evesham Hot Air Fest, said: “It was an extremely difficult decision, especially as we had received interest from a record number of hot air balloon crews for this year’s event.
"But the safety of the public and crews must come first and the predicted wind speeds are way beyond the safe operational limits of hot air balloons.”
Because of the enforced changes to this weekend's festival, Wychavon District Council has agreed to wave car parking charges on Corporation Meadow.
Shawn Riley, Evesham Market Town Partnership manager at Wychavon District Council, said: “We will continue to monitor the forecasts and adapt the event to suit the conditions. We have a spectacular programme of fun and thrills lined up, which together with free parking in Corporation Meadow offers an exciting weekend of entertainment at extremely good value.”
Weather permitting, the grand fireworks finale will complete Saturday's entertainment at 10.30pm and the Asparagus Family Fun Run will take place on Sunday from 11.30am in aid of Midlands Air Ambulance.
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