And they’re off! Participants in the first-ever Pumpkin Spice Run in Chemainus bolt from the starting line. Unfortunately, there won’t be an event this year due to COVID. (Photo by Don Bodger)

And they’re off! Participants in the first-ever Pumpkin Spice Run in Chemainus bolt from the starting line. Unfortunately, there won’t be an event this year due to COVID. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Altered plans for fall and winter events

Creative thinking required in COVID days and safety of the utmost importance

The Chemainus Business Improvement Association has made the difficult decision to cancel upcoming fall in-person events, creating a few digital interactions as replacements. November, however, will see a return of old favourites, but with a twist.

Those cancelled in-person events include the Halloween Candy Walk & Carriage Ride, plus the popular Pumpkin Spice Run.

“We looked at both of these events from every angle to be COVID compliant, and at the end of the day in such a close knit community it would simply be too risky to bring people out for either of these and expect them to not get close to one another,” noted Krystal Adams, executive director of the CBIA.

“We simply must follow the provincial guidelines with regards to the restrictions on congregating for events, and make sure we are keeping those in the community safe.”

But all is not lost and Halloween activities will still be happening in Chemainus. The Chemainus Public Market, a member of the CBIA, is holding an independent small pre-registered in-person Halloween event, while the CBIA will have a colouring contest page in the Courier on Oct. 29, an online costume contest, and a hide-and-seek pumpkin find on Oct. 29, 30 and 31.

This will get families enjoying the outside walking around completely distanced and on their own schedule to find these pumpkins throughout town. Check the Courier newspaper and website on Oct. 29 for more details.

Farther down the road, plans for the beloved Holiday Passport and Moonlight Madness events are proceeding.

The passport will run for an extended period of time from Nov. 16-Dec. 20, and the Moonlight Madness event will get a bit of an adjustment. This year, it won’t be limited to a four-hour window to shop, eat and sit on Santa’s knee or take part in a craft booth, but instead it will be spread out from a Friday morning and running until Saturday afternoon.

Businesses will still be offering deep discounts and delicious food stretched over those two days, and kids will be able to peek in and see Santa busy working away in his workshop through a magic snow globe where they can drop off their letters to Santa as opposed to sitting on his lap. Stores will maintain strict distancing procedures, occupancy numbers and the requirement of hand sanitizing.

”All in all, we have adjusted this to make it even more accommodating but still just as much fun,” Adams indicated.

“We hope if our Island COVID numbers stay low and we are able to think of creative ways to host future community events, we will be able to continue to bring enjoyment to the community even if it’s not quite the same as before. We understand we can play a major role in keeping this community safe in the spread of COVID-19. We are committed in doing whatever we can to do that, both now and in the future.”


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Halloween characters hanging out at Maple Lane Cafe in Chemainus have become commonplace over the years. These three characters were there last year, including one who looks like Julie Stevens. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Halloween characters hanging out at Maple Lane Cafe in Chemainus have become commonplace over the years. These three characters were there last year, including one who looks like Julie Stevens. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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