The annual 420 Vancouver event has officially been cancelled this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are really sad to have to do this,” tweeted event organizer Dana Larsen. “Today BC health authorities recommended that large public events be cancelled.”
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An official statement on the cancellation of the event was also issued.
“British Columbia Health officials today announced a ban on gatherings of more than 250 people, in sync with other Canadian provinces and countries and states around the world,” it said.
And “though 4/20 is a protest, it is not a protest against health officials, and it makes sense to help them protect the public from the outbreak of an infectious virus.”
1/ THREAD: 420 CANCELLED
We are cancelling Vancouver’s 420 Protest Festival this year.
Today BC health authorities recommended that large public events be cancelled.
We’re really sad to have to do this! pic.twitter.com/ivZH3zH7eg
— Dana Larsen (@DanaLarsen) March 13, 2020
Larsen added that any vendors who booked a booth at the event will get a refund.
“Please be patient and give us a couple of days to get sorted out,” he tweeted.
4/20 Vancouver began in 1995 at Victory Square. The rally evolved into a bigger protest at the Vancouver Art Gallery in the centre of the city, before moving to Sunset Beach park in 2016.
Approximately 60,000 people attended the April event last year, along with 400 vendor tents.
The announcement follows a joint press conference today with Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry and BC Heath Minister Adrian Dix, in which Henry said the government is asking event organizers to cancel all gatherings for more than 250 people in the coming weeks.
With coronavirus on the rise, the BC Ministry of Health is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.