St Annes Kite Festival cancelled over strong winds warning

St Annes Kite Festival Image copyright Fylde Council
Image caption Thousands of visitors were expected at the St Annes Kite Festival

A kite festival has been cancelled after a severe weather warning was issued for strong winds.

Thousands were expected to attend the St Annes Kite Festival, due to start on Saturday, but Fylde Council said the safety risk was "simply too great".

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for the area, stating that "some disruption" is expected.

Council tourism boss Tim Dixon said he was "gutted", adding that the "irony of too much wind isn't lost on me".

The festival will now take place over the weekend of 6 September instead.

Mr Dixon said the kite festival was a "massive event for the town" which had been a year in the planning.

"It's a big deal to call it off, but we haven't done it lightly," he said.

"We're adamant it's the right decision to do."

Brian Tweedie, who was to take part with Kitecrew Ireland, wrote on Facebook: "Well done all for the effort that has been already put in - and thank goodness we don't have to get on that ferry from Ireland."

Debra Robinson said: "Such a shame - we've come as a family for quite a few years now and each time there's something new and exciting.

"I understand that it's not been an easy decision to make as it takes so much planning over the year to create the festival.

"I hope there aren't too many disappointed by this situation but we all know that we can't change the weather."

Image copyright Met Office
Image caption The Met Office said strong winds were "expected to cause some disruption"

The event, which takes place on the beach at St Annes, has been running since 2012 and features an illuminated kite-flying evening.

The Met Office said strong winds were "expected to cause some disruption, particularly during Saturday daytime".

"It's likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities could be affected by spray and/or large waves."

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