A POPULAR Christmas parade that attracts hundreds of people has been cancelled for the first time in its history.

Organisers of Broadstone Christmas Parade said they had made the “hard decision” to cancel this year’s event due to Covid-19 restrictions in place.

This year’s event would have been the 51st annual celebration.

A spokesperson said that due to the restrictions, it would not be feasible for the parade to go ahead.

In a statement posted on Facebook on Saturday, organisers said: “Unfortunately we've had to take the hard decision to cancel this year's parade.

“With the current Covid restrictions that are in place it is not feasible for us to run the parade. The organising committee and all participants put a lot of time and effort into preparing for the parade and we cannot do that without the certainty that it will go ahead.”

The statement continued: “As we are a self funded event we rely on the generosity of local businesses and due to the economic downturn many of our sponsors will not be able to support us this year.

“It is a shame as the parade has never been cancelled in its 50 years but we hope to see you again in 2021.”

The announcement comes just days after residents in Runton Road cancelled their Christmas illuminations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Neighbours decided it may be too much of a risk to the public if it went ahead.

Bournemouth's Christmas Tree Wonderland has also been put on hold for 2020, along with the Lower Gardens ice skating rink.

For this year, the town centre will instead be transformed into an "open-air alpine village".

The "Covid-conscious" event, organised by Seventa Events, is set to run from November 13 to January 3.