The Penticton Dragon Boat community has been forced to cancel events due to COVID-19. However, they still plan on going forward with the 20th annual Dragon Boat Festival in September.(Contributed)

Penticton Dragon Boat Festival remains hopeful for 2020 event

Event organizers hope pandemic restrictions are ‘behind us’ by festival’s September date

Like many sporting groups, the Penticton Dragon Boat community has been forced to cancel events due to COVID-19. However, they still plan on going forward with their signature event in September.

Event organizers are holding out hope that the 20th annual Dragon Boat Festival, slated for Sept. 12 and 13, will still take place.

Festival organizers are currently looking into ways to modify the event to meet the COVID-19 health and safety regulations that may be in place come September, but are hopeful that the pandemic will be “behind us” by that time.

“As you are all aware, the ongoing pandemic situation is very fluid, and we’re trying to remain optimistic and flexible. In the meantime, stay safe, keep your distance, eat healthy and wash your hand,” reads a statement from Penticton Dragon Boat Festival organizer, Don Mulhall.

READ MORE: Penticton Dragon Boat Festival hit by ‘senseless’ thefts

The Okanagan Super Sprints and Senior Sprints event however, scheduled for June 12 and 13, has been cancelled due to the ban on gatherings larger than 50 people.

“With the public and the paddling community’s health and safety in mind, we have decided to cancel the event for this year,” said Mulhall.

Refunds for the event are currently being processed.

In the meantime, local dragon boaters remain hopeful that they be able to being training in the near future.

Mulhall said they are working with provincial and local authorities, and with some restrictions being lifted, are “cautiously optimistic” that training will be allowed to take place.

READ MORE: 2019 Penticton Dragon Boat Festival a resounding success

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