PORT AUX BASQUES – Economic Development Officer Shauna Strickland has confirmed that kiosks will be available for rent this summer at Scott’s Cove Park.
Thanks to COVID-19, last year’s tourist season was effectively cancelled, but despite that Strickland said there was at least one vendor who managed to make it work.
“There were no issues there. She followed all safety regulations, health regulations that were in place,” said Strickland.
While the town will rent the kiosks this summer, the onus remains with the vendor to adhere to pandemic cleanliness and safety protocols and provide any necessary materials, such as hand sanitizer, for their customers.
The brightly coloured kiosks always attract tourists, and for years now the town has also contracted local musicians to play in the evenings. Usually the kiosks open for business early in June and the musical performances start in July as the weather gets warmer and tourist season kicks off.
“The music is not something I can really say yes to at this point given that we’re still under a lot of restrictions,” admitted Strickland.
Even with the provincial alert level at 2, there are still limits on the number of people that can socialize.
“We all know the music is a drawing feature for the park. As a role model for the town we can’t encourage those gatherings, and have the music, and not expect people to come out.”
Strickland hasn’t ruled out the possibility of virtual musical performances so that local musicians can play and earn a bit of summer income.
The town also tends to host its annual Astrolabe Days and Canada Day celebrations at the park, and Strickland confirmed that she has proceeded as usual with those preparations despite the new normal under COVID-19.
“We’re planning. I’ve got the application. I’ve got funding approved – no different than last year. But last year it came to a complete stand still.”
Not being able to offer some traditional cuisine or play games was a blow to locals, not just the tourists. Strickland concedes that trying to compensate has been challenging.
“Until we know where we are in June with the regulations we can’t make a decision.”