NANAIMO -- The 53rd Great International World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo has been cancelled along with the Marine Festival due to the ongoing pandemic.

The event, which started in 1967, regularly brought in crowds of people to the harbour city to celebrate in the summer tradition.

In a statement issued on their Facebook page Friday afternoon, the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society (LBNS) said:

“Due to COVID-19 and the parameters in place for festivals/gatherings by our Provincial Health Authority/Local and Provincial Governments, the LNBS Sanctioned Races, Parades, Marine Festival, Big Race and Bathtub Weekend events are effectively cancelled for the 2020 season.”

The society’s commodore, Greg Peacock, says the decision was made last night during a virtual board meeting.

“With the restriction of no gatherings of 50 or more people, this event is impossible to pull off,” said Peacock.

If there are changes or an opportunity to host a race this season, the society says it will consider it, if health guidelines can be met.

“We are monitoring things closely,” said Peacock.

The 58-kilometre bathtub race is the latest of many Vancouver Island traditions to be cancelled due to COVID-19.