The popular summer Parksville Beach Festival has been cancelled again for the second year in a row. (PQB News file photo)

The popular summer Parksville Beach Festival has been cancelled again for the second year in a row. (PQB News file photo)

COVID-19: Parksville’s popular summer sandcastle event cancelled for 2nd straight year

Ongoing pandemic concerns force Parksville Beach Festival board to plan for 2022

The popular Parksville Beach Festival will not be held in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made by the board of directors of the Parksville Beach Festival Society.

This will be the second year in succession the event will not be held. It was scheduled to take place mid-July to mid-August, featuring international artists creating sand sculptures alongside Parksville’s beach in the community park.

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

With an average of 122,000 annual event visitors over the past five years and the need for international travel, board president Cheryl Dill said it was an obvious decision given the persistence of the pandemic.

“Event planning begins well in advance and the rules around travel, gatherings and social distancing have not yet changed,” said Dill. “The schedule for immunizations will not reach end goals until well after our event schedule for 2021.”

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However, Dill said, board members are actively involved in final design and construction planning with the City of Parksville for the Outdoor Performance Theatre, scheduled for construction this year.

“A beautiful functional performance stage in Parksville Community Park will be a wonderful asset for our region,” said Dill. “This has been our society’s vision for many years.”

The society and the city have been able to raise funds through grants and donations for the theatre’s construction.

Dill says the board is optimistic about returning to their regular events in 2022 and will begin planning this fall.

For more information visit www.parksvillebeachfest.ca

— NEWS Staff

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