CORONAVIRUS has devastated our communities and put an end to our normal way of life.

We've faced months of lockdown as we battled the health crisis and now face the impending economic effects of the pandemic.

But we've also lost many of north Essex's most popular events to the virus.

Castle Park fireworks

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

A spectacular fireworks display which draws thousands of people to Colchester’s Castle Park has been cancelled for the first time in its 50 year history.

The organisers, fundraising group King Coel’s Kittens, formed in 1962 to initially raise cash to support people with special needs.

The display typically raises tens of thousands of pounds, with £34,250 donated to Colchester Hospital for its new cancer centre in 2019.

Last year, ticket sales for the sell-out event were limited to 8,000 but this year, organisers say Covid-19 has put a stop to what would have been the 50th anniversary show.

The Paras 10

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

A gruelling charity race held every year to support Paratroopers has been cancelled because of coronavirus.

The Paras’ 10 had already been put back from May until November because of the pandemic but has now been cancelled entirely for 2020.

The race sees runners set off from Abbey Field, running through Merville Barracks and Friday Woods over the same hills and water obstacles crossed by soldiers on training runs.

Organisers are looking into holding a virtual race so those already in training have not wasted their time and say they will be automatically placed into the event next year - again scheduled for May - or a similar event in Catterick.

In a statement, they said they had thought about getting runners to set off in small groups to avoid overcrowding but the new limit on gatherings of more than six meant they could not do so.

Alternative Oyster Feast

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Colchester's alternative oyster feast, which brings pensioners together for a fish and chip lunch, had to be cancelled due to coronavirus.

Organisers invite up to 100 pensioners to Greenstead Social Club for the party, which coincides with the town hall event in October.

Councillor Dave Harris said the event would be "better and bigger next year in October 2021".

Scouting events

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Lockdown brought an end to Scouting activities towards the end of March, with the 2020 Essex International Jamboree being cancelled due to fears over coronavirus.

The traditional St George’s Day parade through Colchester town centre was also cancelled this year amid fears of spreading the virus.

Colchester Medieval Fayre and Colchester Food and Drink Festival

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Two popular festivals set to take place in Colchester next month have been postponed until 2021.

The Colchester Medieval Fayre and Colchester Food and Drink Festival traditionally take place in June each year.

But when the pandemic began earlier this year organisers decided to delay the events until September.

They then decided to call off this year’s events and instead focuses on 2021.

The Harwich Guy Carnival

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

A traditional carnival has been cancelled for the first time in 67 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Harwich Guy Carnival sees Big Heads parading through the streets alongside satirically decorated floats poking fun at current events.

But committee members of the Rotary Club of Harwich and Dovercourt have decided not to organise this year’s event due to concerns over social distancing.

Organisers had delayed the announcement in the hope the situation would improve and allow the carnival, which is staged in late October, to go ahead.

Mercury Theatre Panto

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The Mercury Theatre’s annual pantomime was called off after months of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bosses at the theatre had been making preparations for the festive show due to be held later in the year.

But without information from the Government on when they can reopen safely and the financial implications of a socially distanced opening has now forced their hand.

The panto had been due to take place in the Mercury Theatre’s renovated building. Instead it will be delayed until the 2021 season.

Little Mix at Colchester United's stadium

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Pop superstars Little Mix, of X Factor fame, were set to return to Colchester United’s Jobserve Community Stadium on Friday evening as part of their 2020 tour.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the show was called off, along with the rest of the summer tour, in April.

Chappel Beer Festival

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The East Anglian Railway Museum, which is based at the Chappel and Wakes Colne Station in Chappel, was forced to cancel its biggest event of the year.

After discussions with co-hosts the Campaign for Real Ale, it scrapped the hotly anticipated Chappel Summer Beer Festival for 2020.

The museum said it cannot go ahead safely under current Government guidelines.

The Corbeau Seats Rally

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The Rally, which is organised by the Chelmsford Motor Club, is a closed-road rally car race which has taken place in Clacton for the past two years.

This year’s motorsport weekender was scheduled to be part of the prestigious British Rally Championship, but organisers had to put the brakes on due to the pandemic.

Bosses have now, however, announced plans to ensure the race’s return next April.

Invasion Colchester

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

One of Colchester’s most popular and creative town centre events has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.... but promised it will strike back next year.

Invasion Colchester, which brings colourful comic book and sci-fi characters to the town each year, has been forced to delay its tenth anniversary edition until 2021.

Previous events have raised more than £60,000 for St Helena Hospice and Colchester and Ipswich Hospital’s Charity as well as creating a huge buzz in shopping precincts, with iconic characters like Batman, Darth Vader and Captain America rolling into town.

Race For Life

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

One of Colchester’s most popular charity fundraisers which raises thousands of pounds for cancer research was cancelled.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events, held annually across the country, have been called off.

The cancellations include the Race for Life 5k which was due to to be held at Castle Park, Colchester, on October 4.

Clacton Carnival

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The carnival announced it would hold a “virtual procession” after the annual event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

The carnival’s committee made big changes for last year’s event, which included not having carnival queens or princesses.

But the carnival still raised more than £7,000, which was donated to more than 36 groups who volunteered to take part in the various events.

But this year, the committee has decided to cancel the traditional event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Harwich Motorcycle Run

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

A popular motorcycle run which attracts thousands of riders while raising vital cash to keep an air ambulance flying was cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Every year, motorcyclists take part in the 60-mile Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Motorcycle Run, from Dunton to Harwich.

They do so with the central aim of raising money to keep the air ambulance flying.

Last year’s motorcycle run marked the event’s 20th anniversary, attracting 3,500 riders and raising £40,000.

VE Day Celebrations

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Colchester Council had to take its celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day online due to the virus.

A civic service was set to take place at the town’s war memorial, in High Street, but has been cancelled due to lockdown.

Instead, residents were asked to take part online.

Colchester Pride

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

A colourful celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in Colchester was cancelled due to the coronavirus... but organisers have promised it will return with a bang next year.

The fourth edition of Colchester Pride was set to take place this summer, welcoming RuPaul's Drag Race, X Factor and The Voice stars to the surroundings of Firstsite gallery.

However organisers were forced to pull the plug on 2020's event as the Covid-19 outbreak enveloped the world.

Quite the list - and there could be a fair few more to come.