A POPULAR festival that celebrates Charles Dickens was cancelled amid the soaring number of Covid-19 cases.

The annual Wantage Dickensian Evening, which is normally held on the first Friday of December, will no longer take place, its committee announced on Facebook this morning.

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Thousands of people brave the freezing weather every year to witness Wantage lit up for the Christmas holidays.

The much-loved event also sees town traders, councillors, stallholders and even the police dressed up in period costume.

The Dickensian committee confirmed the festival will return next year.