The Save-On-Foods Dragonslayers dragon boat team practises in 2019. The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society issued a statement today, Feb. 21, advising that the 2021 event has been cancelled. (News Bulletin file photo)

The Save-On-Foods Dragonslayers dragon boat team practises in 2019. The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society issued a statement today, Feb. 21, advising that the 2021 event has been cancelled. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival cancelled for a second straight year

Society instead getting started on planning 2022 event

The pandemic is starting to impact another summer of activities on Nanaimo’s waterfront.

The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society issued a statement Sunday advising that this year’s dragonboat festival, which was to be held in early July, is being cancelled.

The society says the decision was made “regretfully” with public health authorities suggesting that it will take until at least the fall for all British Columbians to be immunized.

“We are unable to ensure the safety of paddlers, vendors, sponsors and spectators both within provincial health and municipal guidelines,” noted the statement, signed by festival society chairman Heiko Behn.

The statement noted that the paddling community has put aside dragonboat practices and races during the pandemic.

“Our lives have been reshaped, and it continues to be precarious as we travel these uncharted waters due to the unknown and continuing COVID-19 limitations,” said Behn.

The society added that it is starting to plan for a 2022 festival with a theme of ‘Dragons of the World.’

RELATED: COVID-19 concerns lead to cancellation of Nanaimo dragon boat festival



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