Welwyn Garden City centenary celebrations to continue with public safety in mind

PUBLISHED: 11:30 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:31 31 March 2020

Many Welwyn Garden City Centenary celebrations are going ahead. Picture: DANNY LOO

Many Welwyn Garden City Centenary celebrations are going ahead. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Many of Welwyn Garden City’s centenary celebrations are to go ahead, while some have been cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Celebrations with mass gatherings will likely have to be postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus.Celebrations with mass gatherings will likely have to be postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus.

Centenary Foundation chairman Peter Waine said: “WGC continues to celebrate its centenary this year despite the coronavirus. We will however be postponing or cancelling several events which involve mass gatherings.”

The Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation was established to promote the community-led celebrations throughout 2020 and has already registered a number of highly successful events including the Garden City Lights, schools tree and bulb planting, Day of Dance, City of Trees and the new 20.20km Centenary Walk around the garden city – as well as new welcome signs on all routes into the town.

While several sporting events including orienteering in Sherrardspark Wood have taken place, a full sporting programme involving nearly 80 sports clubs in the town is now being reviewed.

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“It is inevitable that sport will suffer,” said Peter. “Already we are seeing events being cancelled including the Dragon Boat racing at Stanborough Lakes. It’s a huge shame for all involved.”

Mr Waine added: “Where possible I’m sure clubs will seek to postpone rather than to cancel. WGC has always been known as a town for healthy living and that’s what we would like to see going forward as soon as it is declared absolutely safe to do so.”

Another event likely to be postponed is the Carnival planned for July 11, event organiser Madeleine Clark said: “The floats need a great deal of preparation by the various groups in the weeks ahead of the day. We must be certain that the work can be done at no risk to health and, of course, that the thousands expected to line the route will want to do so.”

One project that is expected to be completed this summer is the erection of the new bronze statue of Ebenezer Howard in the town centre. “This is a magnificent likeness of the practical genius behind the whole garden city idea” said Peter Waine.

“In the midst of this awful pandemic, Howard will arise and stand tall on the centenary of the garden city he founded. I can think of no better symbol of the determination of everyone in this great town of ours to get through this crisis.”

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