The Summerland branch of the Royal Canadian Legion will hold a flag-raising ceremony on Canada Day, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional picnic and barbecue in Memorial Park have been cancelled for 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland’s Canada Day picnic cancelled

Flag-raising ceremony and speeches from dignitaries will be shown on video

The Summerland branch of the Royal Canadian Legion will celebrate Canada Day this year, but the event will be different as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Dorn, past president of the Summerland Legion, said the annual Canada Day picnic and barbecue event has been cancelled as it would be impossible to adhere to the physical distancing and sanitizing rules for this event.

READ ALSO: Summerland Legion organized Canada Day celebrations

READ ALSO: Celebrating Canada Day

Instead, the Legion will have a its flag-raising event and singing of O Canada in Memorial Park on July 1 at 11 a.m. There will be speeches by local dignitaries.

A video of the event will be posted on the Summerland Legion website and elsewhere online.

Dorn is encouraging people to celebrate the spirit of Canada Day, even though the traditional gatherings will not go ahead as usual.

Rather than having the public attend the ceremony, the Legion is asking people to celebrate the day in their own way, possibly by wearing clothing with a Canada symbol or flying a Canadian flag.

“Even during the difficult times of 2020, Canadians live in a country that is blessed with freedom and prosperity which should always be celebrated,” Dorn said.

The Legion branch will reopen to its members and guests beginning Tuesday June 23, with hours of 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Royal Canadian Legion is the largest service club in Canada. Membership is open to all Canadian citizens who have reached the age of majority (19 years old in B.C.)

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