Powassan looking at bringing back Maple Syrup Festival

·2 min read

Powassan council is starting to think about holding its annual Maple Syrup Festival next spring. COVID-19 cancelled last year's festival but deputy clerk Kimberly Bester is asking council for direction on a 2022 event. If there is going to be a festival, Bester says she'd like to organize a meeting in the near future. But council will have to clarify several points. Part of the festival includes indoor events like accommodating vendors and having a kid zone. Bester wants to know if people will have to be fully vaccinated when going into a municipally owned building, which is the policy now. It wasn't an easy question for council to answer. Coun. Debbie Piekarski said “it's hard to surmise what the provincial outlook will be at that time.” Coun. Markus Wand also had difficulty with the vaccination question and said trying to manage the festival in this type of scenario creates challenges. “It would be hard to make the Sportsplex an effective venue if we have to ensure everyone is vaccinated,” Wand said. “Many thousands of people go through (the Sportsplex) so that's going to take more discussion.” But Wand pointed out if COVID is still a big factor in 2022 and Ontario experiences “a fifth and sixth wave come next spring, then there won't be a festival.” Given that there are still some unknowns, Deputy Mayor Randy Hall suggested council wait to see “what the situation was at the end of January. “There's still time to plan something by then,” he said. “I don't see a problem with starting to organize and starting to have a game plan. But until we see what things are like at the end of January, I don't think we can give a policy other than what we're following at this point.” Bester also had a question about outdoor vendors and whether the normal distance the municipality has used in the past to separate the vendors should be increased. Wand said he isn’t too concerned about the outdoor activities and indicated the usual distance of two feet between the vendors should be acceptable. Bester also asked about the masking situation for everyone who is outdoors. Wand relied on current rules where masks should be worn if it's not possible to properly social distance from one another. Powassan's Maple Syrup Festival traditionally takes place on the fourth Saturday in April. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

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