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Brighton's Burning The Clocks set to go ahead today - without fire and fireworks
12:49pm Saturday 21st December 2013 in News
Thousands of people will celebrate the winter solstice at a popular parade today – but its traditional fireworks display has been cancelled over safety fears.
Today’s Burning The Clocks event will welcome thousands of dancers, drummers and revellers who parade through the streets of Brighton on the shortest day of the year.
Each year participants create paper and willow lanterns to carry through the city before passing them into a fire on Brighton beach. But bosses have warned today’s celebrations won’t include the fire and fireworks display due to bad weather.
John Verah, director of community arts charity and Burning The Clocks organisers Same Sky, said the fire and fireworks were cancelled after strong wind warnings from the Met Office.
He said: “They told us they forecast 40mph winds, which would have made fireworks unsafe as they could land in the crowd.
“It’s disappointing but the parade, which is the main part of the event, is still taking place.
“Instead of putting lanterns on the fire people can hand them to us or take them home.
“We’ve done Burning The Clocks 21 times and had one cancellation and one previous occasion where we had to cancel just the fireworks – so it’s not a bad record for a winter event.
“We look forward to seeing everyone nonetheless.”
The Environment Agency is warning communities across the south east to be prepared for flooding this weekend after forecasts of strong winds and heavy rain.
David Bedlington, regional flood and coastal risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “With more unsettled weather forecast for the south east, following recent heavy rainfall, there could be a lot of water on low-lying lands and on roads.
“Those who live in an area vulner- able to flooding should think about the precautions they can take to limit the damage a flood can cause to them- selves and their property.”
Today’s parade of lanterns leaves New Road at 6.30pm, passing through The Lanes before arriving in Madeira Drive at 7.15pm. Lanterns will be lit in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange at 5pm.
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