Halloween events, fireworks and Christmas lights CANCELLED as councils 'just can't afford them'

Halloween event in Kent

Several organisers have cited financial woes as the reason for the cancellations

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Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop


Published: 28/10/2023

- 07:00

Updated: 28/10/2023

- 07:53

Seasonal events across the UK are being cancelled

Seasonal events across the country are being cancelled as organisers clamp down on celebrations for budgetary reasons.

From October to December every year, Brits enjoy a wide range of different seasonal celebrations, starting with Halloween and ending with New Year’s.


However, many events across the UK are being cancelled this year, with several organisers citing financial woes as the reason.

In Kent, a Halloween drive-in cinema experience was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

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The event, which would show a range of scary classics, was scheduled to take place for the first time this weekend.

Cancelling the event, Kent Drive-in Cinema said: “It is with a heavy heart that we make this decision, but due to lower-than-expected ticket sales, we are unable to proceed with the event as planned.

“We understand that many of you were looking forward to this special Halloween experience and we share in your disappointment. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Elsewhere in Lancaster, an outdoor Spooktacular Trail run by a charity has also called off its celebrations.

Writing on their Facebook page, the charity Team Reece said: “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control we have made the decision to cancel the Halloween event this year.

“This event costs a considerable amount of money and time to put on and with a huge downturn in advanced ticket bookings this year, we as a charity cannot justify running the event at a loss when the money and time could be spent supporting children with cancer and their families.”

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Christmas events have also taken a beating

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Bonfire night displays have also taken a beating due to financial reasons.

Councils across the country have cancelled their displays for Bonfire Night after the price of fireworks has skyrocketed.

Some local authorities have called off Guy Fawkes celebrations for the third or fourth year in a row.

Aberdeenshire Council was the latest to cancel their display. The organisers cited issues with costs and “regulations” as the reasons.

A post on the event’s Facebook page stated: “Unfortunately we have to announce that this year's event will NOT be going ahead.

“Over the past few years, we have had increasing difficulties conforming to the regulations placed upon us allowing us to hold the firework display.

“With ever-increasing costs involved and the fact that we always said we would not charge an entry fee for the event, we have made the decision not to go ahead.

“We don't know what the future will hold for us but for now we would like to thank everyone that has helped and supported us over the years.”

Councils in Nottingham, Norwich and Manchester have also chosen to scrap their events.

A pack of fireworks for a commercial event can cost as much as \u00a34,000.A pack of fireworks for a commercial event can cost as much as £4,000PA

The sharp increase in the price of fireworks has been cited by organisers as a key reason for the cancellations.

Rob Watling, owner of Peak Fireworks in Nottingham, said: “The first is the price of shipping from China. In the past few years, shipping costs have increased by over 400 per cent.”

A pack of fireworks for a commercial event can cost as much as £4,000.

As December approaches, Christmas celebrations and events have also fallen victim to cancellation.

Up and down the country, many Christmas light switch-on events have been axed.

Large cities such as Sheffield and Manchester have cancelled their events, with both councils stating there is “no safe or suitable location” in the city centres for the celebrations.

Smaller towns have binned the events. Braintree in Essex announced back in August that the lights would not be publicly switched on.

“We are holding our usual series of Christmas Markets, helping to attract people into the town. We also look forward to installing some Christmas lights and a Christmas tree in the town centre, but unfortunately due to budgetary constraints and the cost-of-living crisis – we cannot support an official switch on and stage this year,” a spokesperson from Braintree District Council told GB News.

“We recognise this will be a disappointment to some, however the Council has taken the decision to prioritise our limited funding on delivering key services to residents. Instead, we are looking to promote our small independent businesses in the town with their own events and helping to encourage our residents and tourists to shop local.”

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