Horse Drawn Okanagan is cancelling its popular Christmas sleigh rides due to COVID-19. (Photo submitted)

Horse Drawn Okanagan is cancelling its popular Christmas sleigh rides due to COVID-19. (Photo submitted)

COVID-19 rules cancel Armstrong Christmas sleigh rides

Horse Drawn Okanagan vows to be back in 2021

Horse Drawn Okanagan hates to be the bearer of bad news.

The growingly popular annual sleigh ride event in Armstrong will not be held in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Team members were geared up and ready to host the fourth annual sleigh ride event until the recent increase in reported COVID-19 cases provincewide and further restrictions on events now in effect.

“We don’t just offer a sleigh ride, we offer an experience and that experience is largely based on bringing people together. In 2019, we welcomed 400 people a day during our eight-day Christmas event,” said event coordinator Kelly MacIntosh.

“We came to realize changing the central concept would be disappointing for our patrons and would eliminate the fun, social and interactive aspects of the event. So after much careful consideration, we have decided to cancel the event this year and come back when it’s safe to do so. We feel this is the responsible thing to do through the currently evolving pandemic conditions.”

Horse Drawn Okanagan has been able to offer private wagon rides and wedding carriage rides this season because it only includes the “safe six” in numbers. They plan to come back next year with a bigger and better sleigh ride event to make up for lost time this season.

“A lot of businesses have been really creative in offering unique and virtual experiences,” said MacIntosh. “The concept of our event, however, is to get back basics, come together with the ones you love, outside under the falling snow, around the fire, singing Christmas carols on a horse-drawn sleigh. So for now, we’ll have to wait.”

Horse Drawn Okanagan will host a Christmas Mini Photo Session on Saturday, Nov. 21 with their draft horses. They will also offer gift items available for purchase this Christmas for the horse enthusiast on your gift-giving list.

READ MORE: Horse drawn carriage rides through Armstrong’s winter wonderland

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