While COVID-19 regulations see prohibition of mass gatherings, people will be able to head to the Vancouver Island Exhibition fairgrounds at Beban Park for the A Taste of the Fair Food Truck Festival. Pictured here, a scene from last year’s VIEX. (News Bulletin file)

VIEX will take place during pandemic, but will be mostly virtual

Fairgrounds open for food truck festival Aug. 22-23, contests and entertainment all online

The show will go on for Vancouver Island Exhibition this year despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

B.C. Ministry of Health regulations prohibit mass gatherings and while much of VIEX 2020 will be virtual, people will be able to head to the Beban Park fairgrounds during fair time, from Saturday, Aug. 22 to Sunday, Aug. 23.

A Taste of the Fair Food Truck Festival drive-thru event will see doughnuts, cotton candy and the like available for purchase and will adhere to health and safety guidelines and takes place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A menu will be posted at VIEX’s website (www.viex.ca) and people will be required to stay in their vehicles, to follow social distancing. Fair workers will bring food out to customers, who will be required to pay with debit or credit cards. Information from food truck festival participants will be collected for purposes of contact tracing.

In the meantime, the VIEX Scavenger Hunt is taking place until Friday, Aug. 21. A list of 10 items can be found at www.viex.ca/viex-scavenger-hunt and participants are asked to post pictures of items on Facebook or Twitter, tagging @VIEx, listing the item number and using the #scavengerviex hashtag. Entries will also be accepted online at the previously mentioned link.

Pet owners are asked to submit photos of their animal friends until Thursday, Aug. 20 for the Virtual Pet and Costume Parade. Pictures can include pets dressed in costume or owners and pets in costume. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes, best dressed and best dressed pets. Entries will be accepted via Facebook and Twitter using the #viex2020parade hashtag or at www.viex.ca/viex-2020-virtual-pet-and-costume-parade/.

A virtual Battle of the Bands will take place with finalists being announced Monday, Aug. 17. Voting, at the fair website, ends Thursday, Aug. 20, at 5 p.m. and winners will be announced Saturday, Aug. 22.

VIEX will be accepting submissions for its 2020 cookbook, with a deadline of Sept. 30. People will be allowed up to three recipes and submissions will be entered into a draw for a copy of the cookbook and a family pass to the 2021 fair.

A virtual dance party takes place Saturday night at 7 p.m., featuring a performance from Vancouver-based Dr. Strangelove.

Michelle Solloway, VIEX director of the main stage, described organizing the 2020 event as “interesting” as organizers had no idea what was happening month to month. It was a “constantly evolving plan,” she said.

“A lot of the challenges were, what do we go ahead and plan without spending money, or doing things that we may have to cancel,” Solloway told the News Bulletin. “The biggest challenges were just probably financial. Figuring out what we can do without paying deposits and then not being able to get those deposits back because we have to cancel because we can’t do that.”

For more information on VIEX 2020, including Home Arts and the VIEX Sunflower Contest, go to www.viex.ca.

READ ALSO: Over 600 British Columbians infected with COVID-19


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