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UPDATE: First time in 51 years the Harvest Festival Parade is cancelled

Crowds hopped indoors to participate in the fun activities after heavy rainfall put a dampener on the parade

KENSINGTON, P.E.I. - It’s the first time in 51 years the annual Harvest Festival Parade, which was scheduled in Kensington for Saturday afternoon, is cancelled due to bad weather.

The Bell Aliant Harvest Festival Parade was originally scheduled to kick off the celebrations with 75 pre-registered entries at 2 p.m.

“We usually get between 125 to 140 entries on the day,” said Robert Wood, chairman of the Harvest Festival.

But heavy rainfall put a dampener on the highlight of the festival.

Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for P.E.I., forecasting 40 to 60 millimetres and possible flooding in low-lying areas.

Sheriden Wall cuddles a chinchilla, which is a member of the Bunny Trails Pet Ranch.
Sheriden Wall cuddles a chinchilla, which is a member of the Bunny Trails Pet Ranch.

The parade that attracts anywhere from 3, 000 to 5, 000 spectators will not be rescheduled due to Sunday’s events, according to Wood.

“Unfortunately, the parade takes a considerable number of organizers and volunteers to run safely and efficiently, therefore we are unable to reschedule an event of this size. Many floats made the decision that they would not participate due to the heavy rain forecasted,” explained Wood.

“Our committee has events scheduled for Sunday, which they are needed at,” he continued. “We are very sad that the parade cannot happen this year. There's been a lot of time and money put into this event by everyone. We appreciate your understanding as the weather is not something we can control.”

Catherine Gallant, treasurer of the Kensington Skating Club, said they pulled their float from the parade earlier because of the weather warning. Instead of letting the rain dampen their spirits, they hopped over to the Credit Union Centre in Kensington to enjoy Family Day, from 3 to 5 p.m.

“With the weather and the age of our group we pulled out our float, but unfortunately the rain decided to stick around and cancel the parade. We’re sad it was cancelled and hopefully this isn’t a pattern with the weather, but we plan to be back in the parade next year,” she said.

Gallant continued, “After the parade people normally flock to the Centre, so it’s been a slow start but now it’s getting busy and that’s good. We have our ice-cream booth here amid all the activities for the kids and we’re fundraising for the local skating club. We will be here from Monday to Wednesday this week.”

The festivities included live entertainment and free mussels at the Kensington Legion from 3 to 6 p.m.

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