The event was due to take place in April but will now not go ahead

Ramsbottom’s annual chocolate festival has been called off.

It is the latest in a spate of large gatherings and events being postponed or cancelled all over the world in an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid 19 in order to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.

The decision to postpone has been made to safeguard the wellbeing of visitors, traders and staff

With the whole of Italy on lockdown and the virus already spreading in the UK, not to mention travel restrictions being imposed elsewhere, we could expect more event cancellations in the coming weeks. 

Ramsbottom Markets, who organise the festival, took advice from Bury Council who in turn consulted Public Health and Health Safety. The decision was made that it would be most sensible to postpone the popular event for the time being. 

2020 03 13 Rammy Choc Fest

Rather than wait until nearer the time and risk significant loss of time, ingredients and money for participating businesses, the organisers felt this was the best decision for all involved, particularly as people are being encouraged to self isolate and restrict social contact. 

​A statement on their website reads:

“At present there is not advice from Public Health to cancel or postpone events which are due to take place but the feedback that we have received is that this situation may change in the intervening weeks and that the decision could be made close to when the event was due to take place.

“Cancelling the event at short notice has a huge financial impact for ourselves as organisers with costs exceeding £15,000 which if the event was to not go ahead is obviously a huge loss, with most traders making fresh food again they could also potentially face massive losses.

“We feel that this is too high a business risk for everyone involved in this current climate and particularly given the information that we are reading daily in the press potentially discouraging visitors to the event.

“The festival is a busy and well attended event which has been supported for many years by loyal visitors, we hope that they understand that the decision to postpone has been made to safeguard the wellbeing of visitors, traders and staff and also to alleviate any potential monetary losses should an event be cancelled last minute. It is felt it will be a better decision to hold the event at a later date when the current situation has passed.

“Any trader who has applied will have their application held on file for when the new date is arranged. They will then be contacted with an invitation to trade.”

2020 03 13 Ramsbottom Choc Fest Cakes

It’s a tough time for many industries at the moment, and we are hearing from lots of people in the hospitality business that are struggling. Restaurants are doing everything they can to reassure diners that heightened hygiene measures are in place. Let’s hope that all of these postponed events can be rescheduled when things are under control and hopefully be busier than ever.

In the meantime, one thing you can do is support the traders that were due to be involved in this event. Whether it’s placing an order from their online stores, buying gift vouchers to use at a later date, or simply showing them some love on social media. See Rammy Market’s Facebook page for more info and links to traders. 

Read next: What are restaurants doing to safeguard diners against Coronavirus?