Pumpkins will lift spirits from the poles on Oak Bay Avenue this Halloween, but they won’t be on display behind municipal hall.
For the second year, COVID-19 safety concerns mean cancelling the traditional trick-or-treat on the Avenue and massive pumpkin display that fills the park off Granite Street.
Halloween and the Christmas light-up are favourites for Martin Cownden, president of the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association (BIA) that hosts the village events. He personally hands out up to 1,200 pieces of candy outside his business and loves seeing the joy of children and families.
“It’s sad to cut that fun out, but you can’t really protect people in an environment where there may be 4,000 people walking the street in the village. We’ve got to put people and their safety first,” he said.
The decision wasn’t an easy one, with much discussion of ideas for scaling back batted around, but just not feasible. Now, they’re looking toward next year.
“I am really hopeful that we will be able to hold it next year and it can come back even bigger and better,” said Heather Leary, marketing and events manager for the Oak Bay BIA.
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