COVID-19 concerns mean none of the festivals normally held in the summer months will go ahead this year
NORFOLK County’s community events organizers received a letter late last week from the county saying Special Events Permits “will not be issued up to and including Labour Day events.”
“This includes County led events as well as all festivals, cultural events, fundraisers and activities organized by external groups that require a County permit. At this time no permits will be issued.”
While the letter signed by Norfolk’s general manager of Corporate Services, Shelley Darlington, allows for “changes in guidance or direction from the Province and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit,” the directive effectively ends all summer festivals and events across the county.
Most community events require some level of County approval and require months of planning and organizing.
In Port Dover this would end the August 2020 Port Dover Summer Festival and Sidewalk Sale Days in Powell Park and along Main Street.
Likewise, the South Coast Jazz Festival planned for this summer takes place at Port Dover Community Centre.
In Simcoe, the Civic Holiday weekend “Friendship Festival” and Port Rowan’s “Bayfest” weekend at Labour Day would also be affected.
“Many of these events involve hundreds of people and at this time it is not possible for these events to occur in a healthy and safe manner while complying with the need for physical distancing and gatherings of no more than five people,” the memo continues.
Ms Darlington said “while Norfolk County treasures these events and the important contribution they make to our communities, protecting the health and safety of County residents is of primary concern.”
She recognized “how difficult this situation is for everyone” and hopes “that when we return to ‘normal’, you’ll continue the great work you do to celebrate and strengthen our community.”
Published in Port Dover Maple Leaf May 13, 2020