DOUBLE disappointment hit this Christmas for thousands of Kenilworth revellers after last minute cancellations for the town’s two biggest festive fundraisers.
The hugely popular Carols in the Castle concert and Boxing day Duck Race were both called off because of safety concerns - leaving organisers missing out on thousands of charity funds.
The two Kenilworth Lions Club events bring in over £7,000 for local causes each year and have only ever had to be cancelled a handful of times in the clubs 30 year history.
But this year the heavy rain meant neither could go ahead as planned in what organisers described as hugely disappointing for the town.
The carol concert was cancelled when lighting engineers were unable to properly light the way to the soggy castle grounds because of days of heavy rain.
And the duck race, where 1,500 plastic yellow ducks are set out in the ford at Abbey Fields, was called off late on Christmas Day when it became clear that fast flowing water would not drop to a safe level by the next day.
The race was postponed until midday on New Year’s Day and all tickets will still be valid for the second attempt.
If there is a problem and the race cannot go ahead for a second time, the winner will instead be picked from a raffle so the cash prizes of £100, £50 and £25 can still be handed out.
Club member, Tim Lee explained that as the club stewards have to get in the water with the ducks to make sure everything goes smoothly, the high and fast flowing water meant it was simply not safe to go ahead.
“It is very sad and we just hope everything can go ahead next time,” he said.
Organiser Lion Gordon Henderson said ‘It was a difficult decision to make, but we had no other option.
“We want to thank the hundreds of people, who turned up on Boxing Day. There was a wonderful holiday atmosphere despite there being no race.’
Kit Leck, club president, said it was with “great regret” that the family activities had to be cancelled so last minute, but that safety was their main concern.
“It was a great disappointment to have to cancel, but there was no way around it,” he said.
“The lighting at the carol concern was not possible with damp cables and it would not have been safe to expect people to come down in the darkness.
“We hope the race can go ahead as there are thousands of people who look forward to this every year and come to take part.”
It is the only the third time the carol concert has been cancelled by the club.
All concert tickets will be fully refunded at either Kenilworth Library or the Lions Club furniture shop on a Saturday morning.