Vancouver cancels summer concerts, movies and special events

Vancouver Parks and Recreation will continue to monitor public health guidance and explore options for small-scale, limited community events in September

VANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver has canceled city-operated special events and permitted events through Aug. 31, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation includes Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s “Friday Movies in the Parks,” the “Six to Sunset” and “Noon Rhythms” summer concert series at Esther Short Park, and the “Sunday Sounds” concerts at Columbia Tech Center. Festivals and events hosted by outside organizers also will not be permitted through Aug. 31.

With physical distancing as the first line of defense against COVID-19, the city is unable to safely stage large scale events at this time. Vancouver’s robust calendar of summer park activities traditionally draws crowds of over 1,000 attendees per event, which makes physical distancing difficult. Additionally, the planning, hiring and fundraising needed to support these annual summer events is not possible this year due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the city’s budget.

This decision follows the trend seen in cities across the country. In a May poll from the National Recreation and Park Association, only 17 percent of agencies currently plan to proceed with outdoor movies. The number drops to 5 percent when agencies were asked about staging annual festivals and concerts.

“We know that this summer is going to be very different than what we’re used to,” said city of Vancouver Special Events Manager Stacey Donovan. “The community concerts, movies and other events that make Vancouver such a wonderful place to call home will not fill our parks this year. We are disappointed to have to make this call, but we believe it is necessary to prioritize the health and safety of residents, staff, vendors and performers.”

“We are collectively disappointed that the summer concerts have been canceled this year, but fully understand the diligence and duty our community and city must follow to protect our fellow citizens,” said Buffie Buller-Eaton, property manager for the PacTrust Columbia Tech Center, which sponsors the Sunday Sounds concert series.  “We are looking forward to returning for summer 2021.”

Vancouver Parks and Recreation will continue to monitor public health guidance and explore options for small-scale, limited community events in September. Additional information will be shared when it is available.

A list of canceled community activities is regularly updated on the Vancouver Parks and Recreation COVID-19 Response web page.

For ongoing updates related to the city’s response to novel coronavirus COVID-19, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/coronavirus.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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