The popular dock diving event will again happen at the 2020 CVEX. File photo

Scaled-down Comox Valley Exhibition set for Aug. 28-30

The Comox Valley Exhibition is a go for 2020.

The annual event has received a provincial gaming grant, and also received a boost from the Comox Valley Regional District.

At the July 28 meeting, the CVRD board approved a request from Area C director Edwin Grieve to contribute $9,000 to the CVEX Association to assist with costs for hosting the event from Aug. 28-30.

Grieve said it’s imperative for the group to continue the CVEX tradition, which dates back to the 19th century.

“I know they have faced all odds on this, and they still think they can pull off some sort of social distancing fair, and make it safe for everyone,” he said. “I am simply proposing to give them a grant-in-aid that basically covers utilities and rent of the facilities.”

Noting the event tends to attract hundreds of people, Courtenay director Wendy Morin has some concerns about endorsing it without a social distancing plan from the association.

“We have a whole protocol package in place,” CVEX president Mike Trimble said, noting a maximum of 50 people will be allowed on site at one time.

Rather than charging an admission fee, this year’s event is by donation. Each person will be given a wrist band, good for one hour.

“It’s way scaled-down compared to years gone by,” Trimble said. “There’s no kids zone, there’s no antique machinery, there’s no cattle sorting.”

Dog agility is out, but the dock diving event is in.

Chainsaw carver Ryan Cook will put on three shows each day. There will also be music, along with a few vendors and food trucks.

“Our main focus this year is our home and garden show,” Trimble said, noting a large number of growers.

Before the fun begins on the Friday, there will be logger shows on Aug. 25, 26 and 27, either by grandstand or by car. There will be a 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. show each day.

“This is a tradition of 146 years,” Trimble said. “Protocol or no protocol, some traditions have to continue.”

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