Tonight's Carols by Candlelight in Kuirau Park has been cancelled due to the bad weather forecast.

David Elliott from the Rotorua East Lions said although the sun was shining at the moment, there was intense thunderstorm activity, with lightning, heavy rain and hail, forecast directly over the venue between 4pm and 10pm.

"The sound and lighting contractor who would have expensive electrical equipment spread over the site is, understandably, not prepared to risk ignoring this warning.

"Needless to say we are extremely disappointed for everybody who has been preparing for the event. We feel a bit guilty having to cancel," Elliott said.

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It's just the second time in 26 years the Lions have had to cancel the event.

"While the sound and lighting contractor and Andy's Marquee Party Hire were on site we discussed a postponement rather than a cancellation. It turns out that not all involved are available and the weather pattern was not significantly different for Saturday."

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