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Christchurch Park fireworks cancelled - for first time in 49 years

PUBLISHED: 11:19 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:23 09 September 2020

The fireworks in Christchurch Park, Ipswich have been cancelled in 2020 due to coronavirus.  Picture: MARK LANGFORD

The fireworks in Christchurch Park, Ipswich have been cancelled in 2020 due to coronavirus. Picture: MARK LANGFORD

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It has been a mainstay of Ipswich’s calendar for nearly half a century - but now the magnificent Christchurch Park fireworks display has been cancelled, becoming the latest victim of Covid-19.

Thousands of people were expected for Ipswich's Christchurch Park fireworks display - but it has been cancelled for 2020. Picture: MARK LANGFORDThousands of people were expected for Ipswich's Christchurch Park fireworks display - but it has been cancelled for 2020. Picture: MARK LANGFORD

Volunteers from the 11th Ipswich Scout Group organise the event every year with the support of nearby businesses and organisations, attracting more than 10,000 visitors each time.

It has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the scout group and other good causes since it started with a bang in 1972, quickly becoming one of the area’s largest displays.

But now, organisers have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s outing, which was due to take place on Saturday, October 31.

Ollie Arthur, event manager, said: “Our top priority is the safety of our volunteers, the public and contractors.

Families enjoyed last year's Christchurch Park fireworks in Ipswich. The event has been cancelled in 2020, but there are plans for it to return in 2021. Picture: MARK LANGFORDFamilies enjoyed last year's Christchurch Park fireworks in Ipswich. The event has been cancelled in 2020, but there are plans for it to return in 2021. Picture: MARK LANGFORD

“With no certainty about what the future holds and the potential for a virus resurgence and further lockdown measures possible, the group executive committee has reluctantly come to this decision.

“We have left the decision as late as we could, in the hope that we’d be in a position where we could successfully and safely produce a family friendly night of fireworks and entertainment, we have become known for.”

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The last time the annual event was in jeopardy was when Christchurch Park closed for a month following the great storm of 1987.

Coronavirus has forced the cancellation of this year's Christchurch Park fireworks in Ipswich. Picture: MARK LANGFORDCoronavirus has forced the cancellation of this year's Christchurch Park fireworks in Ipswich. Picture: MARK LANGFORD

However, on that occasion, an enormous planning exercise saw the fireworks display move to the Suffolk Showground - meaning that the show went ahead successfully.

Organisers are instead turning their attention to making sure 2021’s Christchurch Park fireworks display is one of the best ever.

Chris Baldry, production manager, said: “We have already begun planning for our 50th anniversary year in 2021 and fully expect to be back with a bang.

“We’d like to thank all our volunteers and supporters who make our events so successful and the public for their continued custom.

“We can’t wait to see you again next year.”

Income from the event has previously funded a purpose-built meeting place, vehicles and equipment as well as subsidised activities and international travel for young people across Ipswich.

Businesses interested in becoming event sponsors for the 50th anniversary fireworks display on Saturday, November 6 2021 at Christchurch Park should visit the “sponsor us” page on the Ipswich fireworks website.


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