Smoky skies keeping Kamloops quiet this weekend

By Adam Donnelly
August 6, 2017 - 5:33pm Updated: August 7, 2017 - 9:58am

KAMLOOPS — August long weekend is typically be one of the busiest summer holiday weekends in the province; with the fire situation and poor air quality, many of the usual hotspots for locals and visitors to Kamloops are quiet this weekend.

“We were going to go out and get things going, but it’s pretty tough,” one Farmers Market shopper said. “There’s really no safe place to go right now in BC unless you go down to the island.”

While folks were trying to make the best of the situation, one local vendor at the Saturday farmers market noticed the volume of customers and merchants was down.

“Last year at this time, this was one of the busiest weeks ever,” merchant Rick Hawkes said. “If you look around, you’ll see that many of the vendors that should be here aren’t.”

While the smokey skies and poor air quality were keeping many people indoors, and away from places like Riverside Park, plenty of visitors to the city decided to keep their travel plans intact.

“There was a couple of people on my team who were like ‘Ahh, I saw that the air quality was really bad, should we be going?’ but I was like ‘It’s okay,’” Hayleigh Nicholson, of Calgary explained.

27th Annual Kamloops Invitational soccer tournament organiser Paula Williams said the host committee left the decision to play or not to play up to the teams themselves.

“What we did was we gave everyone an opportunity to back out of the tournament,” William explained. “We sent around updates and emails, and no one backed out.”

Organizers of the 38th Annual Kamloops Powwow say many cancelling the annual event would have been difficult, especially so close to the actual event.

“We have so much work that goes into [the Powwow],” Kamloopa Powwow Society President Delyla Daniels explained. “So many people had already started travelling, and we got some many messages asking us to please not cancel.”

Despite the lack sunny skies Kamloops is known for at this time of year, locals and visitors alike are doing their best to enjoy the long weekend.

Police looking at alcohol in a two-vehicle collision downtown Tuesday morning