Cumbria marmalade festival cancels because of coronavirus

  • Published
Jars of marmalade entriesImage source, Dalemain
Image caption,
Thousands jars of marmalade are entered into the competition

A marmalade festival which attracts thousands of entries from around the world has been cancelled because of concerns over coronavirus.

Organisers of the event at Dalemain in Cumbria said they had expected a large number of international visitors.

Founder Jane Hasell-McCosh said it had been an "extraordinarily difficult decision to make".

"This festival has generated this extraordinary community all round the world," she said.

The organisers have confirmed the thousands of entries will still be judged and a winner announced next weekend.

Since the cancellation, a woman from Kuwait had offered to donate the money she would have spent on travel to the festival's chosen charity for 2020, Hospice at Home.

The festival is popular in Japan, with a sister festival based in the country, and the Japanese ambassador and his wife are among those who have cancelled their travel plans.

Image source, Reuben Kooperman
Image caption,
Reuben Kooperman has entered every year since 2010

The festival normally sees about 3,000 jars entered from more than 40 countries, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Malta and Mexico.

Reuben Kooperman from Australia, who won the "Man Made Marmalade" section in 2019, said the "disappointment must be enormous".

"I completely understand and respect this decision, and feel deeply for Jane and the extended marmalade family," he said.

"They all work so hard and with such passion to create the most amazing international forum for thousands of us who have this wonderful connection."

Yasuyo Imamura from Japan, who won the International Marmalade category the same year, said cancellation was the "right decision".

"My heart goes out to those who had made plans to attend, but coronavirus is a serious global problem," she said.

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has reached 206 - a rise of 43 since figures were released on Friday.

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