The Vernon Winter Carnival will take place next month, despite COVID-19 provincial health orders being extended to the first day the carnival is scheduled to run.
The 61st annual carnival, with its Wild West theme, will be held Feb. 5-14.
It’s been a lot of extra planning work this year, says executive director Vicki Proulx, as the board of directors has had to devise alternative plans depending on the extent of provincial health orders during the city’s biggest winter event.
It will be a different carnival from years past with a few third-party events cancelled, but Proulx said there’s plenty to look forward to in the event plans that have been submitted to Interior Health.
“We have a lot of drive-thru events and virtual events, and events that people can do on their own time with their own family units,” Proulx said. “There (will be) stuff happening from people’s own backyards, too, so I think there’s a lot for the community to look forward to.”
Yesterday (Jan. 7), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the extension of bans on gatherings and other pandemic restrictions until Feb. 5, the same day the carnival is set to begin.
Proulx said the submitted plans take into account the current restrictions. Some changes could be made during the back half of the 10-day carnival.
“The only ones that are kind of up in the air are a few events that were set to start on the second weekend of carnival, Feb. 12 or 13,” Proulx said. “We’re still hoping they can go ahead, but obviously if restrictions get extended past the 5th we may have to make revisions at that point.”
Organizers are following the latest protocols and Proulx recommends people buy tickets early as space will still be limited for some virtual and drive-thru events.
“We’re trying to have something for people to look forward to and stay safe at the same time,” she said.
Winter Carnival tickets go on sale Monday, Jan. 11. For more information, visit the carnival’s website.