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Peach Fest cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Global News files

For the first time since 1947, Penticton will not be holding its annual summer Peach Festival.

The board made the announcement in a news release on Thursday evening.

READ MORE: 2020 Calgary Stampede cancelled for first time in over 100 years amid COVID-19

“Over the course of the past few days, it has become apparent that we have no choice other than to cancel for 2020,” said Peach Festival president Don Kendall.

“This is a sad time for me, our board, the volunteers, and the entire community. However, the health and safety of our volunteers, spectators, vendors, performers and everyone else involved with the festival is our number one priority.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Three more popular events in Okanagan cancelled due to pandemic

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B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said in a news conference over the weekend that the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 will stay in place over the summer.

On Monday, she affirmed that she did not believe it was plausible to lift the order on mass gatherings of more than 50 people.

READ MORE: Peach Fest, Ironman among possible cancellations as Penticton mayor eyes the challenges ahead in 2020

“Right now, we are focused on our community’s health and safety and we look forward to Peach Festival returning in 2021,” said Kendall. “We take this time to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers, board members, spectators and performers who have made Peach Festival Penticton’s signature event.”

Peach Festival expects another great line-up for 2021, already scheduled for Aug. 4 to 8.