Oak Bay set to have a quiet summer without Garagellenium, grad ceremonies

Residents adhere to ban on Oak Bay’s traditional summer events

Garagellenium is canceled for 2020, another Oak Bay event canceled as residents do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)

Garagellenium is canceled for 2020, another Oak Bay event canceled as residents do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)

Add Garagellenium to the list of events that won’t happen in Oak Bay this summer as the Tweed community does its part to break the chains of transmission.

Major gatherings look to be the last things to be restored when the provincial order for social distancing is finally lifted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent years Garagellenium was held in June, which is traditionally a busy month in Oak Bay with the Tea Party and Oak Bay High grad ceremonies such as the Block Party also happening.

Registration for the 21st Garagellenium would have opened this week, said organizing lead Cassie Kangas.

“We were trying to wait it out but we realized we can’t do it safely,” Kangas said. “With hundreds of people touching things, there’s just no way to manage it.”

Postponing is also not an option with talks of a second wave of COVID-19 stirring in the fall.

“We’ve had so many comments of understanding, but also disappointment, we’re sorry to say [it’s canceled].”

READ ALSO: No Oak Bay Tea Party in 2020, but the spirit remains

READ MORE: Garagellenium XX registrants soar to 124 different sales and counting

President Martin Cownden of the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association said the organization has had to cancel the monthly Oak Bay summer night markets as well as May’s Spring Nosh.

The Francophone Games have postponed its July dates with hopes of holding the event in Oak Bay in 2021.

“Given the public health concerns, it is likely that community gatherings will be among the last activities to return to normal,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “This is very hard in Oak Bay where our sports events, night markets, events on the Avenue, music concerts, park cleanups, and hundreds of other activities all bring people together.

“Losing these connections to our community, our passions, and our friends, even temporarily, is hard for everyone. I am proud of how responsible our residents and businesses are being and how supportive of each other. The events will return in the future. For now losing these events will have to be part of how we sacrifice to help protect the lives of our friends, neighbours, and front line workers.”

READ MORE: Spring Nosh celebrates the food district at the other end of Oak Bay Avenue


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