A Jimi Hendrix-inspired sand sculpture by Peter Vogelaar pictured at the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition. The competition will now return in 2021, after the 2020 Parksville Beach Festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Castles in the sand: Parksville Beach Festival latest big Island event sunk by the pandemic

International sand sculpting competition among events sidelined

The 2020 Parksville Beach Festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Festival event manager, Wendy Sears, said it was a difficult and necessary decision to cancel this year’s event. A festival of such magniture would pose too large of a health risk at this point, she explained.

“We don’t know what travel is going to look like… we had many international sculptors coming or chosen to participate this year and we don’t even know if they can come,” she said. “And then the whole thing around the size of crowds – are they going to relax that?”

‘Roaring ’20s’ was set to be the theme for this year’s festival, which has been taking place since 1982. The event has had an average number of 122,000 annual visitors in the past five years.

READ MORE: People tab ‘Roaring ’20s’ as theme for Parksville sand sculpting competition

Sears said planning of the festival has been on hold for about a month, since social distancing protocol started to be enforced.

The cancellation includes the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition, Art in the Park, Tim Hortons Summer Concert Series, Lunch with the Castles, Canadian Tire Sculpt like the Pros and the Coast Captial Savings Light-up! Show.

Cancelling the event will also have a significant economic impact on the region, said a release from the Parksville Beach Festival Society.

“Not only will many businesses, contractors, local not-for-profit groups serving as gate ambassadors and our society feel the financial impact of this cancellation, our community will feel the loss of a well-respected event that garners significant social cohesion and boosts community pride,” said society president Cheryl Dill. “While our heads are hanging low with this decision, we know we need to do our part for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to plan for a

fantastic festival in 2021.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoronaviruseconomyParksvillequalicum beachTourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Arts Council opens first gallery

Classes available at new location

PHOTOS: Families, spectators wave goodbye to Navy Task Force from Victoria shorelines

HCMS Winnipeg and HCMS Regina sailing to Hawaiian training exercise, further deployments

COVID-inspired RV sales soaring on West Shore and beyond

Health restrictions, recommendations keep Vancouver Island vacationers closer to home

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read