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No way around COVID-10 ban on gatherings

  LYNDEN ­— The 2020 Farmers Day Parade is canceled, after all. It was to be on June 6.

  Lynden Chamber of Commerce executive director Gary Vis said in an email Monday he is “beyond bummed out” to make this call, as he can’t remember ever missing the Lynden parade in his life.

  Vis said he held out hope that being outdoors, doing enough distancing, speeding up the pace or some other line of logic would make the parade possible. But, he added, most restaurants are still not open and “everyone would have to wear masks.”

  The Washington governor’s guidance on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic limits the number of people gathered, and there is no way around that, Vis said. “The whole thing is to reflect well on this community,” and having the parade now probably would not do so, he said.

  This was Tuesday’s official announcement:

  “After numerous discussions with the Whatcom County Health Department and the City of Lynden, the Lynden Farmers Day Parade will be indefinitely postponed until such time, possibly late this fall, that large outdoor community gatherings can balance the safety concerns of participants and spectators with the interpersonal social aspects that are such a large and important part of Whatcom County’s longest running community event. While we can make no guarantees, our hope is to gather the community in celebration of our rich agricultural heritage, regardless of the time of year.

  “On behalf of the over 350 members of the Lynden Chamber of Commerce, we wish to express our appreciation to all of those involved in the agriculture industry, both here in Whatcom County and beyond, and while we may not be able to gather and honor you in the fashion we have historically been accustomed to, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we are always grateful for your contributions, large and small, in making Lynden such a special place to call home.”

  Vis said the Chamber is not making a decision yet on the 2020 Northwest Raspberry Festival, scheduled for July 17-18.