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Arbutus Arts Festival canceled this year due to coronavirus pandemic

This year’s Arbutus Arts Festival, a popular annual event that typically draws more than 25,000 crafters and patrons, is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the committee that runs the event announced.

The 47th festival, which was set to take place May 17, has been rescheduled for May 16, 2021, according to the festival website.

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“This is a very difficult decision for us, as the festival has been held for 46 years without a cancellation,” the committee wrote in a Facebook post. “This is our community and family, and we hold the Arbutus Arts Festival dear to our hearts. Along with that, we want to do everything we can to ensure our community and participants are safe.”

Sue Miller, chairwoman of the Arbutus Arts Festival, echoed the committee’s statement.

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“This has been very sad and disappointing for all of us,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “This crisis is bad and has the possibility of not changing in the near future.”

In previous years, the festival has drawn the large crowds to the center of Arbutus to enjoy handmade crafts, vendors, a classic car show and children’s activities.

Despite the option to postpone the festival until the fall, Miller wrote she wanted the community to be able to experience it to the fullest.

“Our crafters, food vendors and other participants commit to shows/festivals/events throughout the year,” she wrote. “If we were to change the date, they would be unable to attend, therefore, we would not be able to bring you the festival we all love and enjoy.”

Proceeds from the festival benefit the Greater Arbutus Business Association, which typically uses the revenue during the year for projects such as planting flowers and mowing grass.

Although the decision to cancel was not easy, Miller said it was necessary.

“It is sad and disappointing to everyone, but we don’t want anyone in the community to get hurt, so that was the decision we had to make,” she said.

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