The pandemic gripping the globe is raining on yet another parade but organizers are thinking outside the lines.
The Greater Victoria Festival Society (GVFS) announced March 19 that the 122nd Island Farms Victoria Day Parade, the 2nd Annual Douglas Mile and the Festival of Bands, which were set for May 16, 17 and 18, have all been officially struck from the calendar.
The cancellations come from orders of the Ministry of Health, to call off any events with 50 people or more until May 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“These are unprecedented times. This is the first time in 12 decades of the parade that it has been cancelled,” said Kelly Kurta, executive director for GVFS in a press release, adding that the Island Farms parade draws in thousands of people each year.
“The Victoria Day Parade and weekend festivities are the highlight of the Victoria events scene, the largest event in the city, and the longest standing parade in Canada,” said Kurta. “The financial impact of the cancellation is considerable. Millions of dollars are brought into the city during this weekend.”
Kurta asks that anyone who paid to enter the parade be patient if expecting a refund, and suggests the option of letting the fee stand as an entry fee for the 2021 parade.
To make light of a difficult situation, the GVFS is putting together a “virtual parade” and asks bands, performers, floats, or walking groups to send in videos of past performances for people to enjoy while staying at home.
A little something to thank volunteers and registrants, and to help “keep the spirit of the parade alive.”
To send in performances, email email@example.com.