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Annual Scarecrow Festival in Summerside cancelled due to COVID-19

['Four-year-old Summer Hankinson came all dressed up for the Scarecrow Festival.']
Kool Breeze Farms has decided to cancel its annual Scarecrow Festival to ensure the safety of Islanders and comply with current health restrictions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic.
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —


For the first time in 14 years, Kool Breeze Farms won’t be hosting its annual Scarecrow Festival this fall due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic.

The event had become a community and Island favourite, drawing crowds of thousands in previous years. The decision didn’t come lightly, but needed to be made, said Ian Simmons, co-owner of Kool Breeze Farms.

“The biggest challenge of any event on P.E.I. is how you handle those volumes of people in an easy fashion. And you can’t," he said. "That’s why there was no Old Home Week. That’s why there was no Lobster Carnival.”

Every year would be a little different, but the event would feature a children’s scarecrow costume competition, live music, corn maze and plenty of other farm-themed activities.

It was also a fundraising opportunity for the Summerside Lions Club and Generation XX.

What Simmons will miss most about the day will be the smiles on all the children's face as they enjoy the work he and his team put in to make the day so special.

As much as he wanted to continue the event this year, there was just no way to safely do it, given the crowds and activities associated with the event.

“You know, it’s hard to social distance having a three-legged race, isn’t it?”

As for the future of the Scarecrow Festival, Simmons is unsure. Given all the uncertainty still around the coronavirus — like whether there will be a second wave — he is taking everything a day at a time, so anything is possible.

“I honestly don’t think, at the end of the day, anybody can plan much more than, you know, three, four, six weeks out in front of them right now because things are going to change.”

While the event isn’t going ahead, Kool Breeze is still open every day, with the garden centre shifting to its fall products, though the dairy bar will be closing sometime next month and Da Mama’s Kitchen will be doing the same later this month.

Twitter.com/MichaelRobar

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