Ottery Tar Barrels and carnival called off this year

Ottery Tar Barrels 2019. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

Ottery Tar Barrels 2019. Picture: Alex Walton Photography - Credit: Archant

This year’s Ottery carnival and Tar Barrels have been cancelled because of Covid-19.

On Tuesday, September 8, the carnival committee said: “Having considered the options we believe that we would not be able to run any event without creating a mass gathering.”

The committee had been hoping to run one or both of the events, and was making sure all the necessary preparations would be in place if it was possible to go ahead safely.

Its spokesman said the police have been very supportive and advised on different options, but: “Health and safety is paramount in everything that we as an organisation do and running our events would put our community and spectators at risk and would contravene the current Government guidelines.”

The event was due to take place on Thursday, November 5, and police think some people may still turn up, unaware of the cancellation. Extra officers may be drafted in to deal with any ‘disgruntled’ individuals.

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The committee has thanked all the authorities who help organise the carnival and tar barrels every year, and said it looks forward to working with them on the 2021 events.

It has also thanked Ottery Town Council who agreed a grant of £7,500 in July to help with funding, if the events could go ahead.

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