Ucluelet’s holiday celebration has been dealt a dampening blow as the chamber of commerce announced Monday morning that the Harbour Lights Sail Past has been cancelled.
“Of course it’s disappointing. It’s one of my favourite community events,” chamber manager Lara Kemps told the Westerly News.
Kemps explained the popular annual event that sees festively decorated vessels parading between Whiskey Dock and 52 steps was cancelled due to a lack of participants.
“A lot of people are out of town, or their boats are in maintenance,” she said. “I had paper invites to all the boats in early November, so it wasn’t a lack of trying.”
She said the event needs a minimum of roughly six vessels to run, but just one vessel and a group of kayakers had signed up as of Monday morning.
She said this is the first time she could recall the longtime annual event being cancelled, but added the cancellation does not reflect decreasing community spirit.
“Not at all. I think our community spirit is up,” she said, suggesting the town’s recent Midnight Madness holiday shopping extravaganza was a triumphant success.
“It’s definitely not our community spirit. We have a lot of community spirit. It’s just sometimes it doesn’t always work out, unfortunately.”