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Coronavirus: Cobourg cancels Waterfront Festival, Ribfest; organizers postpone Highland Games

Victoria Park Beach is one of the major tourist attractions in Cobourg. File

The Town of Cobourg has decided to cancel this summer’s annual Cobourg Waterfront Festival and the Rotary Ribfest and Music Festival due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The town says organizers of the Waterfront Festival — including the Lions Club and Rotary Club — agreed to cancel one of Ontario’s leading outdoor shows and the third-largest Canada Day celebration in the country.

Each year, the festival attracts thousands of people to the town’s waterfront and famed beach on Lake Ontario. The festival was scheduled for July 1 to 4.

READ MORE: Couple donates $100,000 to Cobourg hospital to help fight coronavirus pandemic

The Rotary Club also agreed to cancel its Ribfest and Music Festival at Victoria Park, which was scheduled for Aug. 14 to 16.

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Mayor John Henderson says the top priority is the health and well-being of citizens, essential workers, community partners and festival attendees.

“We have been closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and after much consideration, our community partners have made the responsible decision to cancel not only Cobourg’s Waterfront Festival but the Cobourg Ribfest Festival as well,” said Henderson. “I applaud our community partners for making the right decision as we continue to abide by provincial and federal guidelines.”

Don Owen, president of the Rotary Club of Cobourg, says the “shock” of COVID-19 has been universal, and it’s no surprise the community has been impacted.

As of Thursday, 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Northumberland County, according to the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

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“The correct course of action was to immediately ensure the safety of our community and visitors who come for these two huge events,” said Owen. “With luck and grace, we will be in a position to resume these events soon again once the pandemic is behind us.”

Meanwhile, organizers of the 57th annual Cobourg Scottish Festival and Highland Games have postponed the event which was scheduled for June 19 and 20. It has been rescheduled to Aug. 28 and 29 at Victoria Park.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience but feel this gives everyone more time to hopefully get over this pandemic,” event organizers announced on Facebook.

 

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