One of Kelowna’s most popular annual winter events will be postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.
Organizers for Valley First New York New Years announced that due to the scope of the event and COVID-19 restrictions in place, it would not be able to host the event.
“As disappointed as we are to formally announce the decision, it was rather inevitable,” said Renata Mills, Festivals Kelowna’s executive director.
“With the growing attendance we have seen over the years, and the size of the spaces we use, there’s no way we could hold the festivities in a responsible, COVID-safe manner.”
In years past, the event was held on Dec. 31 at Stuart Park and the Kelowna Community Theatre.
In Penticton, the 2020 Candy Cane Lane event has also been cancelled.
“While we had high hopes that we could provide a safe alternative to the Santa Claus Parade and create a festive celebration for our community, we believe it is more important that we respect provincial health guidelines and protect the health and safety of our community,” said Carly Lewis, the City of Penticton’s economic development manager.
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“We also want to give the businesses and exhibitors who were committed to this event the time to plan alternate celebrations if they wish.”
Candy Cane Lane is produced by the City of Penticton and Hoodoo Adventures.
Hoodoo Adventures acknowledges the disappointment with the event being cancelled and wants to let the public know it is working on creating a new safe, inclusive event.
“We’re disappointed that we can’t organize Candy Cane Lane, but are determined to continue to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t, so we’re working hard on a new festive plan for the community.” said Lyndie Hill, co-owner of Hoodoo Adventures.
“We’re planning something that is available to everyone, (something that) can’t be cancelled, postponed or restricted.”