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Pumpkinfest and dragon boat race cancelled

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The Waterford community will not be holding two major festivals this year.

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Pumpkinfest and the Invasion of the Dragons Dragon Boat Race have been cancelled.

For Pumpkinfest, the planning committee works year-round to create the festival, but now is the time they would be approaching sponsors.

“We really couldn’t justify going out and approaching local businesses for sponsorships at a time when they’re having problems,” said Matt Suckel, Pumpkinfest co-chair.

It is also the time they commit to large expenses like buying fireworks and booking bands for the parade.

“Honestly I think the odds of being able to bring 10,000 people into a field for fireworks in October are very low,” said Suckel.

The group still wants to run the house and business decorating contests, and if schools are back in they hope to be able to still have the pumpkin pyramid.

“It’s not going to be what you’re used to seeing at Pumpkinfest,” said Suckel. “We certainly do plan to be back in full force in 2021 and we’re going to take this year to focus on planning, building, and improving.”

The group of organizers appreciates the support they have received on social media since announcing the need to cancel.

Dragon Boat Race organizers were facing similar roadblocks when looking to move forward with their event.

“Everything that you have to do to prepare for something, there’s a cost to it,” said Gail Catherwood, one of the organizers.

The event was originally scheduled for the weekend of July 18, and the park it is held in is currently closed until at least June 30.

“There’s just so many unknowns,” said Catherwood. “Are people going to want to put that $50 towards being part of a boat?”

Catherwood added the event costs $20,000 to put on and they need 20 boats worth of people to turn a profit for the fundraiser.

The event is held as a fundraiser for the Cancer Support and Resource Program of Norfolk. Donations to the group can still be made online at CSRP.ca.

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