One of Vancouver Island’s big summer festivals won’t be returning this year.

The Parksville Beach Festival Society has announced that the 2020 Parksville Beach Festival won’t take place as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The cancellation includes the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition, Art in the Park, Tim Hortons Summer Concert Series, Lunch with the Castles, the Canadian Tire Sculpt like the Pros and the Coast Capital Savings Light-up show.

The event was set to happen from July 10th to August 16th.

With an average of 122,000 annual event visitors over the past five years, Board President Cheryl Dill said the board felt the event would pose a significant health risk.

“Because the rules around gatherings and a social distancing have not yet changed and our event planning involves significant travel arrangements from around the globe, well in advance, it does not make sense to continue with plans for 2020”, said Dill.

She added that the cancellation of the festival will have a significant social and economic impact.

“Not only will many businesses, contractors, local not-for-profit groups serving as gate ambassadors and our society feel the financial impact of this cancellation, but our community will also feel the loss of a well-respected event that garners significant social cohesion and boosts community pride,” says Dill.

Dill explained that although the 2020 festival won’t move ahead, the board plans to have “a fantastic festival in 2021.”

There haven’t been any announcements from other organizations such as Vancouver Island Music Fest, The BC Seafood Festival, the Tofino Food and Wine Festival, or Sunfest on whether or not they plan to close for 2020 as well.