The 2020 Falmouth Oyster Festival due to take place from October 8-11 has been cancelled due to the impact of coronavirus.

In consultation with the festival’s partners, and having considered social distancing requirements, as well as the practicality of organising the event, Falmouth Events Ltd has taken the early decision to cancel this year’s event.

Mike Rangecroft, the festival’s honorary chairman said: “We cannot assume that mass gatherings will be permissible by October. We understand that cancellation of this event will be disappointing for residents, visitors and our traders, but we feel this is the right decision for the safety of all those involved as well as wider public health. We are now very much looking forward to next year when we can all enjoy this social event.”

The Falmouth Oyster Festival began in 1996 and celebrates the start of the oyster season. It has a loyal following of thousands who gather to celebrate this unique local heritage.

A great number of partners, sponsors, local chefs and Oyster Fisherman are an integral part of the festival and key contributors to its ongoing popularity.

Seasalt Cornwall sponsored last year's event and its team said: “It is a great shame the festival won’t go ahead this year, but we look forward to picking up our conversations again in less uncertain times.”

A long term supporter of the festival is St Michael's Resort. Resort director Louise Uys-Jones said: “We have supported this wonderful festival for many years, and it is a great shame it is not feasible to hold it successfully in 2020. To provide the invaluable recognition these local industries deserve in just a small way, we continue to plan to mark the start of the oyster season as usual at St Michaels with our Sea Shanty dinner and oyster tastings, with social distancing and other measures in place.”

The 2021 festival will take place from Thursday, October 7 to Sunday, October 10 2021.