Maria Medwedrich hands out cotton candy during the 2018 Canada Day celebrations. This year’s celebration is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Dawn Gibson/Sooke News Mirror)

Maria Medwedrich hands out cotton candy during the 2018 Canada Day celebrations. This year’s celebration is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Dawn Gibson/Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke Canada Day celebrations cancelled due to COVID-19

July 1 events officially cancelled throughout Greater Victoria

Another major Sooke event has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sooke’s annual Canada celebrations are officially cancelled this year in response to provincial health orders that bans gatherings with more than 50 people.

“We are very disapointed to announce this, as a lot of hard work has already gone in to the planning the event,” said Steve Wright, chair person for the Canada Day celebration and member of the Sooke Lions Club.

The difficult decision to cancel the annual event came after consultation with the District of Sooke, said Wright.

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Canada Day has become Sooke’s largest celebration since the demise of All Sooke Day in 2002. Last year, more than 2,000 people gathered at Sooke River Flats to celebrate the country’s 152nd birthday.

This year was set to feature a “lumberjack show” similar to the competitions that used to be held at All Sooke Day. The exciting performance would feature axe throwers, wood choppers, log rollers, pole climbers and more.

“The good news is that the performance is already booked for next year’s event,” said Wright.

Wright noted that if the pandemic situation blows over soon enough, they would still like to hold some form of celebration at the end of summer. However, the likelihood of a later event will completely depend on what health officials and the district say.

“We are very sorry we can’t continue this wonderful tradition this year, but the pandemic has taken it out of our hands,” said Wright. “But the celebration will be back for sure next year.”

Both the City of Victoria and Town of View Royal have also cancelled events marking the nation’s birthday.

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