Bridport's Christmas Cheer event will not take place this year due to the coronavirus threat.

The event has been cancelled due to restrictions on large gatherings and social contact in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the town council says

The Christmas Cheer event in early December is traditionally one of the biggest and busiest events of the season in west Dorset.

The event generally includes dance performances, carol singing, live music and a lantern procession. It is complete with the customary turning on of the Christmas lights.

The Christmas Cheer event typically draws a large crowd and its committee has decided to cancel the event as they did not feel it would be able to go ahead safely in the current climate.

A spokesperson for Bridport Town Council said: “The Bridport Christmas Cheer committee has made the very difficult decision to cancel the Bridport Christmas Cheer Event 2020.

“Whilst we appreciate this is disappointing news, we hope you can understand the steps we need to take to keep everyone safe.

“Bridport Christmas Cheer is one of the biggest and busiest town centre events and the committee feel that we are unable to deliver the event safely and ensure social distancing particularly in its usual format.”

The Christmas Cheer committee have, however, resolved to deliver a Christmas market as an extension of Bridport’s historic street market on Saturday December 12.

The committee is also working with Crowdfunder, which plans to launch a virtual Christmas market. The online market would give traders and retailers unable to attend many markets in person, due to the pandemic, a space to sell their Christmas gifts and goodies.

To participate in the virtual market, you need only a small selection of products which you are able to dispatch in time for Christmas. Crowdfunder has waived the usual fees for the marketplace so traders as able to keep every penny they raise.

If you would be interested in taking part in this virtual Christmas market, please contact the event co-ordinator, Terri Foxwell, on by Friday October 9.