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Maidstone River Festival cancelled because of coronavirus

Plans for this year's Maidstone River Festival have sunk because of coronavirus but organisers say it will be back with a splash next year.

The free festival, with raft races, entertainment acts, decorated boats and fireworks, was set to take place on Saturday, July 25, along the River Medway, in Maidstone town centre.

This year's popular Maidstone River Festival will not be going ahead Picture: John Westhrop
This year's popular Maidstone River Festival will not be going ahead Picture: John Westhrop

Organisers hoped the coronavirus restrictions would be sufficiently relaxed by now but large gatherings are still not allowed under government rules.

Last year, 87 boats flocked to the event and about 330 people visited the County Town especially for the day.

David Naghi, chairman of the Maidstone River Festival Committee, said: "It's a fantastic day, it's the only time where the people of Maidstone can come to a free event.

This year's Maidstone River Festival is cancelled because of coronavirus Picture: John Westhrop
This year's Maidstone River Festival is cancelled because of coronavirus Picture: John Westhrop

"If we do put the festival on and it looked like Brighton beach I would be accused of being irresponsible and spreading coronavirus. And we have got to think of our own safety."

Mr Naghi, who is a borough councillor for Maidstone's East Ward, added: "We were hoping it would all be sorted by the end of July.

"Because we have got so much time now we should be able to make it bigger and better next year."

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