Pandemic playing Grinch to Kamloops Whoville's plans

·2 min read

This year was already looking like it might be the final outing for the folks behind Whoville Kamloops, but due to recent tightening of COVID-19 restrictions, whether the holiday event will be able to be held at all remains as mysterious as defining the species to which The Grinch belongs.

Sue and Randy Adams, Westmount residents better known at this time of year as the Mayor of Whoville and his wife, are communicating with Interior Health to determine what options might be available if the current gathering restrictions are lifted after Dec. 7.

Until midnight in that date, provincewide health orders limit groups to household residents only and prohibit any other indoor or outdoor gatherings.

For now, it looks like public visits to Whoville may not be in the cards for 2020.

The couple has had a Whoville-themed yard since 2016 and, since 2018, has been inviting the public to visit.

The plan for this year was to allow people to book visits in advance, limiting the number of people wandering through the Whoville experience to 20 at a time, with a total of 80 visitors over the course of the evening.

The schedule would allow for cleaning and sanitization between visitor groups. The pre-arranged visits would also have prevented some of the overcrowding experienced toward the end of the celebration in 2019.

“On our final night, it got a little bit out of hand,” Sue said. “Too many people came through.”

Traditionally, admission is the donation of a lightly used children’s book — to be given to Literacy in Kamloops — and Adams said that even if they can’t open Whoville this year, they will continue to take donations from anyone who wants to make them.

“I will have a place at my house for drop off in the front where the books will be quarantined,” she said. “I will also take cash donations from anyone who wishes to contact me directly about that and ensure they get to Literacy in Kamloops.”

The Mayor of Whoville and wife can most easily be contacted through the Whoville Kamloops Facebook page.

Todd Sullivan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week