Just as word of a Christmas tractor parade from Armstrong to Enderby was beginning to excite local residents, organizers elected to cancel the event after the RCMP advised them of the risks of holding events during COVID-19 restrictions.
Sgt. Justin Thiessen, commander of the North Okanagan rural unit, said the RCMP did not cancel the event, but merely advised organizers of the definition of an event under B.C.’s current pandemic restrictions, and that they could be liable if the event were to lead to the contravention of those restrictions.
“We were contacted by a concerned member of the community regarding the event that was taking place,” Sgt. Thiessen said Wednesday afternoon,” adding the RCMP then reached out to the organizers in an educational capacity, as restrictions on gatherings have been a source of confusion over the course of the pandemic.
“They are the ones who elected not to proceed with the event as planned.”
The parade would have seen farmers drive from Armstrong to Enderby in tractors and trailers decked out in Christmas lights Wednesday, Dec. 23, starting at 5:30 p.m.
“Get ready Armstrong and Enderby! The farmers are coming to town!” said one local farmer in a social media post Monday, Dec. 21. “Hope to see lots of you waving!”
The local farmer updated her post on Tuesday to explain the event had been cancelled, having been told that the event was cancelled.
“It’s a big disappointment, considering there have been lots of other communities that have done the same thing already this year,” the farmer said.
Sgt. Thiessen said there is nothing stopping organizers from setting up a tractor parade, so long as they understand the risks and are able to conduct the event in a safe manner.