A Jimi Hendrix-inspired sand sculpture by Peter Vogelaar pictured at the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition. The competition will now return in 2021, after the 2020 Parksville Beach Festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Castles in the sand: Parksville Beach Festival latest big Island event sunk by the pandemic

International sand sculpting competition among events sidelined

The 2020 Parksville Beach Festival has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Festival event manager, Wendy Sears, said it was a difficult and necessary decision to cancel this year’s event. A festival of such magniture would pose too large of a health risk at this point, she explained.

“We don’t know what travel is going to look like… we had many international sculptors coming or chosen to participate this year and we don’t even know if they can come,” she said. “And then the whole thing around the size of crowds – are they going to relax that?”

‘Roaring ’20s’ was set to be the theme for this year’s festival, which has been taking place since 1982. The event has had an average number of 122,000 annual visitors in the past five years.

READ MORE: People tab ‘Roaring ’20s’ as theme for Parksville sand sculpting competition

Sears said planning of the festival has been on hold for about a month, since social distancing protocol started to be enforced.

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

Cancelling the event will also have a significant economic impact on the region, said a release from the Parksville Beach Festival Society.

“Not only will many businesses, contractors, local not-for-profit groups serving as gate ambassadors and our society feel the financial impact of this cancellation, our community will feel the loss of a well-respected event that garners significant social cohesion and boosts community pride,” said society president Cheryl Dill. “While our heads are hanging low with this decision, we know we need to do our part for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to plan for a

fantastic festival in 2021.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoronaviruseconomyParksvillequalicum beachTourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This house in the 600-block of Linden Avenue in Fairfield has a Día de Muertos theme for 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Haunted Oak Bay

Residents spookify houses

A rare Short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Oct. 26 and will be sent for a necropsy to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Photo courtesy Kimberly Adamec)
Rare owl found dead in Saanich yard to be sent for necropsy

Short-eared owl ‘vulnerable’ in B.C., owl advocate says

Police continue to investigate a break-and-enter in this Sidney jewelry store in the 2500-block of Beacon Avenue. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Thieves hit Sidney jewelry store

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP says incident is not part of a larger trend

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #91, said plans for a new building will ensure long-term sustainability. (Black Press Media file photo)
Plans for new Legion in Langford include low-cost housing for seniors

Project could be before council in early 2021

The Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. closed permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks closes despite petition signed by nearly 250 residents

Closure part of transition to more drive-thru locations, Starbucks spokesperson says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Most Read