Like so many other events, Spennymoor Gala, normally held the first Saturday in July each year, had to be cancelled in 2020. The Gala was due to celebrate its 65th anniversary last year.
Whilst the Showmen and residents of Spennymoor and surrounds were naturally disappointed, the need for caution in the throes of the Covid pandemic was understood.
But now, following months of preparation and discussions with the council, the Gala Committee is delighted to announce that this year’s Gala will go ahead on 1-4 July at Victoria Jubilee Park.
There will be an official opening on 1 July by the Mayor of Spennymoor on the fairground. Gala Day, featuring an array of entertainment, will take place on 3 July.
Back in January, when the country was gripped by a second wave of Covid and in lockdown again, the Gala Committee sent in an application for the event to the owners of the land, Spennymoor Town Council.
Separately, Committee Chairman John Culine MBE sent in an application for the fairground that forms part of the Gala.
John, a past president of The Showmen’s Guild, is a resident of the town and served as a councillor in the town for 18 years, as well as Mayor in 2004-5.
After last year’s disappointment, the five committee members were all committed to holding the 65th Gala this July. With uncertainty around what the pandemic might have in store for the summer, they engaged the services of an experienced Event Safety Officer to assist them.
As the fairground is organised separately, John Culine also appointed the Safety Officer to organise the safety side of the fair.
The Safety Officer liaised with Durham County Council Safety Advisory Group to ensure the event could be run as safely as possible and that all Covid guidelines were met.
Following online meetings over the winter, a meeting took place in the Town Hall on 17 June where the Council considered the matter and decided the Gala was safe to operate in July.
Spennymoor Gala has been held since 1955 when it replaced a previous event, Spennymoor Carnival, which had been held since the early 1920s.