Gone before it barely had the chance to get started, the winter market in Okanagan Falls has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The market had its first and only weekend last week (Nov. 14 and 15).
Due to concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, organizers have decided to permanently shut-down the market. The plan was originally to hold the market every weekend until Dec. 20.
At the time the decision was made to postpone the market, organizers were discussing changes to make the market more COVID-safe.
Interior Health informed organizers that there were multiple protocols that needed to be followed if the market was to carry on after the first weekend. However, the situation was ultimately made by organizers to just shut it down.
Over 300 people attended the market on its opening weekend, according to organizer Elaine Chernoff. Chernoff said while numbers-wise it was a success, they did not have the protocols in place to deal with that amount of people coming through.
“It was pretty overwhelming for a little town like ours,” said Chernoff.
While Chernoff is disappointed the market was forced to shut down, she said it was still the right decision to make.
“People’s health and safety is more important than the market.”
All vendors will be refunded the entirety of their vendor fees in the coming days.
Chernoff said she hopes to be able to put together a different market in OK Falls once the time is right.