Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival has been cancelled again this year, due to the pandemic.
The festival, which was set to take place this September, had to be cancelled yet again this year, after the increasing number of cases and the uncertainity in health orders and restrictions, explained organizer Deddy Geese.
“We have been following health advisories and found a safe window mid-September and the committee really tried to put together the festival but with the sudden changes last week with mandates on indoor masks and the rising number of cases, we as a committee thought it best to hold off on hosting the festival this year,” he said.
Last year, the summer festival was cancelled but was later presented online.
“It is really disappointing to have to cancel the festival. We have been doing this for 19 years, and last year would’ve been the 20th year for the festival. We still were able to do an online event last year, but we were really hoping to bring the festival back to its usual glory,” said Geese.
After not being able to do an in-person event last year, Geese and the rest of the committee were hoping to bring back the in-person festival this year. However, they came to a consensus that this would be a risky undertaking at this stage.
“We are also thinking of all the supporters and festival-goers. We want them to be safe. It is just such a difficult decision for us but at this point, we don’t know how everything will develop,” he said.
Geese is however hopeful that the committee would be able to bring back entertainment in some form to the public early next year. While he doesn’t want to do another online event as he feels the event online for the second time would take the edge off it, he would, if there wasn’t another way.
“We just have to ride it out; with a little bit of patience, we can get through this. Just stay tuned and we will see if we can put together a spring event or maybe another online event. Stay tuned,” said Geese.
To get the latest updates on the Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival, people can visit: https://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanFest
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