YORK Balloon Fiesta has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

The crowd-pulling attraction had been due to take place on the weekend beginning Friday, September 25, with plans to be bigger and better than before, but organisers have now cancelled this year's event.

The ongoing crisis and the "likely timescales on restrictions being lifted on mass gatherings" had led to the decision.

In a statement, organisers said: "This is not an announcement we ever wanted to make. After much consideration and taking on board all of the available information in relation to the global Covid-10 pandemic, such as likely timescales on restrictions being lifted on mass gatherings, we have had to take the very difficult decision to cancel this year's York Balloon Fiesta.

"Your safety and that of everyone involved in putting on York's largest free entry event has to be our main priority."

They said they were determined to ensure 2021 would see "the biggest ever York Ballloon Fiesta" and hoped to return earlier in the year, over the May Whitsun Bank Holiday from May 28 to 32, subject to the York Racecourse racing calendar.