Buckinghamshire residents are divided as to whether the cancellation of a local Christmas event is cause for celebration or sadness.

The Bucks Free Press confirmed last week that the Christmas in the Park event which took place in Marlow last December and organised by Brand Events, the company behind Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, would not return to the town this year.

A spokesperson for the events company said it was “focusing all its efforts on the annual Pub in the Park in May”.

Last year’s event received backlash from residents after Higginson Park sustained damage following the construction of a lights trail, mistletoe market and winter village on its grounds – harm that was acknowledged by the Brand Events team, who pledged £20,000 towards grass upgrade works in the wake of the event.

Hilary Martin, Town Clerk at Marlow Town Council told the Bucks Free Press that she was not aware of any other Christmas events planned to take place in Higginson Park this year.

Marlow residents are of differing views as to whether the news that the event won’t return is cause for celebration or regret, with some suggesting that it was ultimately not a profitable venture, especially in the wake of the aforementioned £20,000 pledge.

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Writing in the Facebook groups Marlow Life and Positively Marlow, locals shared their experiences at Christmas in the Park 2022, with some dubbing it “a tacky idea” and others describing it as a “magical” way to get “in the Christmas mood”.

Robbie McFarlane and Nikki Kenward concurred that the event was “a great idea” in theory but had been “poorly executed”. Robbie said: “The Christmas village was a nice setting, but the entry cost put people off”, and Nikki added: “The light trail was poorly done”.

Sarah Brooks and Bernard Guly agreed that it had been nice to have a large-scale festive celebration in the town but expressed doubts about Christmas in the Park’s “commercial viability”.

Sarah said: “It was nice to have something festive in Marlow and really put us in the Christmas mood. It probably would have grown each year but sadly hasn’t been given the chance.”

Clare Scott expressed a similar sentiment, urging people to not be “so quick to judge” the event organisers for the damage caused to the area.

She added: “I am so thankful that we have people who come, fall in love with and invest in our town.”