COVID-19 stings annual Honey Festival

The Town of Falher enters the Honey Festival Parade each year with their float telling everyone that Falher is “A Honey of a Place to Bee!”

Falher’s marquee event cancelled due to pandemic

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The 2020 Falher Honey Festival has been cancelled for the health and safety of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planned for June 19-21, the event was cancelled by the honey festival committee at its monthly meeting March 18.

“We have cancelled the festival completely for the year due to the ever-changing climate of COVID-19,” says Ryan Roy, who chairs the committee.

“This was not an easy decision for our committee because the Honey Festival has been running strong for 30 years now.

“But we had to think about the safety and well-being of everyone involved.”

He says the committee wants to comply with Alberta Health Services guidelines for events, public gatherings and social distancing.

“If we did not cancel the Honey Festival ourselves, AHS would have put a stop to it,” Roy says.

Organizers look forward to next year.

“We hope to come back bigger and better next year with new ideas for Honeyfest 2021,” Roy says.

“The future of the Honey Festival is still strong and committed.”

He says that will give the committee time to rest, reset, and begin to get new ideas together for 2021.

“We are financially sound after two very successful years in 2019 and 2018.

“The last two years of the honey festival have been an overwhelming success.” Last year, the event coincided with the Town of Falher’s centennial and attracted more visitors to the town.

No second date for the festival was proposed, considering the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Roy says it would have not been financially viable to start reserving vendors and entertainment that requires non-refundable depo- sits.

“The committee was not comfortable losing our deposit money for nothing,” Roy says.

The Honey Festival was created to promote the honey industry and Falher as the Honey Capital of Canada.

For the first few years, the festival was held in July before it moved to June with more people and volunteers available in June than in the summer months.

Falher Honey Festival attracts several hundred people to the downtown core where most activities are staged.

Over the years, the schedule has featured a parade, children’s bicycle parade, vehicle show-and-shine, barbecue dinner, shopping cart races, vendors’ and farmers’ markets, local talent show, special entertainment, pancake breakfast, bee beard demonstration, children’s games and activities, petting zoo, slow-pitch softball tournament, youth triathlon and a midnight swim at the pool.

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