BREAKING NEWS: Festival venue cancelled

THE venue for this year’s popular Dragon Boat Festival has been axed.

The event, held in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley, was due to be held at Knepp Castle in Shipley on Sunday September 4.

But the charity says that the lack of rainfall has meant water levels have dropped so much that it’s not possible to stage the festival.

Claire Irving, fundraising manager at St Catherine’s Hospice said: “We were due to hold our Dragon Boat Festival, as per last year, in the beautiful setting of Knepp Castle. However, in spite of recent heavy showers, the consistent lack of rainfall over the last ten weeks has seen the water levels on the lake drop to such an extent that it is just not possible to hold a boat race there.

“We love Dragon Boats and are aware just how much work our teams have done to raise money and prepare for the day. We want to assure all our supporters that we’re doing all we can to enable this fabulous event to go ahead.

“As such, we’ve taken the decision to look to move our Dragon Boat Festival. We have been in close contact this week with an alternative venue but are unable to confirm the location before the Bank Holiday weekend.

“Dragon Boats is a key event in our calendar and the local people who support the day are very important to us. We ask all local people interested in the Dragon Boat Festival to check our website, Facebook page or twitter feed for an announcement on Wednesday August 31. You can also call the fundraising team on 01293 447357/365.

“We would like to offer our sincere thanks to our sponsors, Thomas Eggar LLP, Edwards Vacuum and Barclays and our teams. We’d also like to thank all at the Knepp Estate who have done so much to support the Dragon Boat Festival over the last two years.”