A large crowd gathered in Rutledge Park for a past Music in the Park event. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich squashes summer events including annual Strawberry Festival, music in the park

District cancels all events that draw large crowds

Many of Saanich’s popular summer events won’t take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The District cancelled this year’s Strawberry Festival which was set to take place on July 12 and the Music in the Park events that take place throughout the summer in various parks, as it’s unclear if they could safely take place, said Mayor Fred Haynes.

READ ALSO: Saanich dishes out Strawberry Festival Sunday

The District is monitoring the safety guidelines and orders coming from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry – including not hosting gatherings of more than 50 people, said Saanich Emergency Operations Centre information officer Kelsie McLeod. This means annual summer events enjoyed by residents – including the Gorge Canada Day Picnic presented by the Gorge Tillicum Community Association – have been cancelled as they draw large crowds.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 washes out Gorge Canada Day Picnic

Haynes explained that for now, “there’s nothing planned by Saanich for the rest of the summer.”

While District staff are disappointed about having to cancel the popular events, McLeod said safety is the top priority. She added that Saanich is looking for ways to modify some future events so they can safely go forward. “We thank the public for their understanding and look forward to resuming larger gatherings when it is safe to do so,” she said.


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