THE Red Arrows display team will not perform at this year’s Swanage Regatta and Carnival Week, it has been confirmed.
Carnival secretary Linda Welsh was informed the RAF aces would be unable to attend the Swanage event this summer because of their packed schedule.
As Britain gears up to mark the World War One centenary, it has transpired the dates of Swanage Regatta and Carnival Week clash with a number of military events, Linda told the Daily Echo.
She added: “It is extremely disappointing, as they really are our headline act for the week. But we’re not going to let it get us down, we will find something to give enjoyment to the crowds in their place.”
Last year around a quarter of a million people flocked to Swanage for the carnival events, injecting millions of pounds into the local tourist economy. Thousands of visitors packed out the seafront to watch the daring skills of the Red Arrows pilots. This year’s carnival theme is ‘Celebrating Britain’. Linda doesn’t expect any problems re-booking the Red Arrows in 2015 though. She said: “Yes it is disappointing for this year, but I was on the phone yesterday to them and it is clear they’re rather tied up in 2014.
“They always do their best to come to Swanage. They came here for the first time in 1989, then we had a spell when we didn’t apply, but they’ve been regular performers for the past eight or nine years.
“Swanage is one of their favourite venues as they have this natural amphitheatre to perform over. The bay, with the headland either side, is just perfect for them.”
An executive meeting of Swanage’s carnival committee was due to take place last night where discussions would start on what to book in place of the Red Arrows this year.
“You cannot really compete with the Red Arrows though,” said Linda. “However, we will find something. One way or the other, we will survive.”