ORGANISERS of Prestonpans Gala have vowed the event will return “bigger and better” in 2022 after this year’s gala day was cancelled.

A number of community celebrations across East Lothian are expected to be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Vikki Burns, chairperson, and Graeme B Hutchison, gala convenor, made the announcement on Sunday that Prestonpans Gala would not go ahead.

They thanked members of the public for their “time, patience and understanding” and urged people to “stay safe and together we can beat this virus”.

A statement on social media confirmed the gala had been due to take place on June 12.

However, the statement reads: “The gala committee, in accordance with Government guidelines, have unfortunately and regrettably had to take the hard decision to cancel gala day for this year – a decision we were hoping we wouldn’t need to make.

“As advised, there will potentially be no large-scale public events allowed for the foreseeable future so therefore we have had to make this tough choice.

“We are extremely sorry this has had to happen; however, we are already putting plans in place to bring it back bigger and better next year.”

The cancellation of Prestonpans Gala follows on the heels of those behind the Musselburgh Festival, Haddington’s Nungate Gala and the Haddington Festival Fun Day confirming the events would not take place this year.

Hours of voluntary work goes into organising the popular annual events.

The Prestonpans Gala statement continued: “We have contacted the families of the Royal Court children and made them all aware.

“We hope you understand the difficult situation we are in as a committee, but we did want to have a gala for the children and wider community, as so many people have missed out on so much in the last year or so.

“We know you will be supportive of our decision and support us as we move forward with the new dates.

“At present, all fundraisers with the exception of lottery bonus ball are cancelled.”

Councillor Willie Innes, East Lothian Council leader, lives in the town.

He said: “I am sure the gala committee will be very disappointed at having to cancel this year’s gala and will not have taken the decision lightly; local galas are important events, but our communities’ health must take priority.”