Why much-loved Sheffield Wednesday 'Owls in the Park' event will NOT take place in 2021

It’s one of the most eagerly-anticipated events on the Sheffield Wednesday calendar.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 4:00 pm

And though it won’t come as much of a surprise to most, ‘Owls in the Park’ will not take place this year due to ongoing uncertainty over social distancing restrictions.

The hugely popular event, which can draw as many as 20,000 devoted Wednesdayites to Hillsborough Park in the weeks leading into the season, allows Wednesday supporters to see the club’s players and staff up-close while enjoying a funfair.

In what is a largely unique effort by Wednesday, club figures take the time to interact with supporters, have a kickabout with young Owls fans and sign memorabilia.

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Sheffield Wednesday defender Moses Odubajo signs a fan's shirt at the 2019 Owls in the Park event.

The Star understands that the club are hugely disappointed not to be able to host the event but that the scale of organisation needed – which takes between six and eight months – has meant it just won’t be possible while the nature of safety restrictions remains unknown.

Organisation includes the co-ordination of dozens of entertainment stalls and food and drink vendors as well as safety liaison with Sheffield City Council and local safety authorities.

It is the second consecutive year the event has not been able to take place due to the coronavirus restrictions in an otherwise uninterrupted sequence since it first took place in 2012.

Fans have been unable to attend matches at Hillsborough stadium since March last year. Under the Government’s ‘road map’ out of the coronavirus crisis, it is hoped spectators will be allowed back into grounds at the start of next season.

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