COVID-19 concerns have led to the complete cancellation of the 25th annual Snowking’s Winter Festival.
Anthony “Snowking” Foliot shared the news in a video posted to Facebook Tuesday afternoon, just hours after organizers vowed to forge ahead with day events based on recommendations from Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory’s chief public health officer.
Following Kandola’s lead, the festival scaled back its hours over the weekend, ending all nighttime events as NWT’s top doctor urged social distancing and self-isolation for recent travellers.
The castle courtyard was kept open between noon and 5 p.m. With no programming, admission fees were waived, and guests were asked to make whatever donations they could.
But with new recommendations from Canada’s top medical officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, Foliot said the festival board was forced to make the tough call in shutting down the snow castle for the season.
Canada’s top doctor has recommended cancelling all events with 50 people or more in attendance.
“We wanted to stay open, but we can’t,” said Foliot, thanking Yellowknifers for their support.
“(Tam) is requiring everybody to shut down.”
UPDATE: Snowking’s Winter Festival is officially closed. Sorry friends, please take care of one another out there. ☃️❤️
Posted by Snowking's Winter Festival on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
The festival, which was forced to end early last year due to warm weather, was set to run until the end of the month.
There are still no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the NWT.
“See you next year,” said Snowking.