British Columbia

Vaisakhi, 4/20 among major B.C. events cancelled to slow spread of coronavirus

The annual Vaisakhi parade and festival in Surrey and 4/20 celebrations in Vancouver have been cancelled in light of growing concerns about COVID-19.

B.C. health officials say gatherings of more than 250 people should be cancelled to prevent spread

The Vaisakhi festival in Surrey draws hundreds of thousands of people each year. (CBC)

The annual Vaisakhi parade and festival in Surrey and 4/20 celebrations in Vancouver are among major events to be cancelled in B.C. organizers try to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The cancellations were announced Thursday, on the same day that B.C. health officials called for a moratorium on gatherings of 250 people, and a day after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic of the novel coronavirus.

Municipalities including the City of Vancouver and the City of Surrey have ordered all gatherings of 250 people or more be halted, as per advice from health officials.

Events and gatherings by third-party organizers are under review. 

"I know this step will impact many people, but this decision has been made in the best interests of those who live, work, or visit Surrey," said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum in a statement. 

"We are in extraordinary times and I strongly encourage everyone to do their part to mitigate the risk of exposure or transmission of the coronavirus."

The Great Vancouver Board of Trade has also announced it's postponing all in-person events and meetings until the end of April.

Vaisakhi: cancelled until further notice

Organizers of Surrey's annual Vaisakhi event, scheduled for April 25, said in a news release Thursday that it has been cancelled "until further notice or a significant change in the transmission of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic."

One of the world's largest Vaisakhi parades, the Surrey even usually attracts more than 500,000 people and brings tens of millions of dollars into the city.

4/20: cancelled

Cannabis activist Dana Larsen announced on Twitter that Vancouver's annual 4/20 festival has also been cancelled.

Vancouver Auto Show: postponed

The event had been scheduled to run March 25-29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. No new date has been announced.

2010 Winter Olympics anniversary cauldron-lighting: postponed

The 10th anniversary celebration was supposed to happen on Thursday. No new date has been set.

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