Halloween won’t have the same spark it used to in the North Okanagan.
Area fire departments have traditionally celebrated Oct. 31 with fireworks displays. But the need for social distancing due to COVID-19 will leave the skies dark in almost all communities.
Except in Lumby and Enderby.
The rural communities are encouraging people not to gather, but stay in their cars or homes and watch from around town Saturday at 8 p.m.
“Basically everywhere on the northwest side of Lumby you’ll be able to sit in your car and watch the fireworks,” fire chief Tony Clayton said.
He expects there could be a few extra visitors in town, considering fireworks have been cancelled in Armstrong, BX, Coldstream and Lake Country.
“I would recommend getting to town early,” Clayton said.
Enderby fire chief Cliff Vetter also urges visitors and residents to stay in their cars or watch from home as the department sets off the display from Riverside Park.
“You don’t have to be right in the park to see them,” Vetter said.
Enderby also set off fireworks for Canada Day, which “worked out really well,” according to Vetter.
Based on the success, the community decided it would be fine to continue the Halloween tradition.
“We need something through these times,” said Vetter.
Enderby and Lumby have a little more space and smaller populations which allow them to continue with the fireworks displays. Whereas some of the other areas don’t have the same space to accommodate the event.
“We don’t have a huge amount of area for parking,” BX fire chief Bill Wacey said. “And we usually get 1,500-2,000 people standing cheek to cheek.”
This will be the first time in 38 years that the fireworks have been postponed in BX.
But the department does have a special treat in store for the community.
“The money that we normally use for the fireworks we are going to use some of it to build a picnic table and bench at the park,” said Wacey of the addition for the park next to the firehall.
The BX-Swan Lake firefighters will also hold a boot drive Oct. 31 to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Donations will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Swan Lake Nurseryland and Butcher Boys.
Fireworks in Coldstream, Armstrong, Cherryville and Lake Country have also been cancelled for Oct. 31.
“Usually every year the fire department puts on a fireworks show and bonfire that hundreds of people attend, but due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings etc. and the need to be a good example in health and safety, there will be no Halloween event,” Lake Country’s communications officer Karen Miller said.
Treat trails have also been cancelled in Vernon, both downtown and at the Village Green Centre, and in Armstrong.
Halloween Fireworks 2020 cancelled …
The Downtown Vernon Association is holding an online pumpkin carving contest.
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🎃 CONTEST ALERT💰 Here we go! WIN $250 Downtown Dollars, plus prizes from Downtown Vernon businesses. DETAILS: 1) Carve your Pumpkin. 2) Take a photo of the pumpkin and yourself next to it. 3) Post it on your FB or IG page & Tag us @downtownvernon 4) The one with the most ‘Likes’ wins! Get them up quickly. Get creative end perhaps with your own costume in this photo. The Winner will be chosen on Nov. 2nd. GOOD LUCK!! *Real pumpkins only (no foam/plastic etc). One entry per household in Vernon and area. #DowntownVernon
Armstrong will have a pumpkin glow as the downtown is lit up with jack-o’-lanterns which can be brought down to Spirit Square from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 31, and they will be on display starting at 4:30 p.m.