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2020 Crystal Carnival a no-go

Labour disputes see postponement of annual winter festival in Holyrood

By Chris Lewis | Vol. 32 No. 48 (Feb. 13, 2020)

The 2020 Crystal Carnival is being postponed, or at least much of it, anyway.

Originally set for February 13-23, the festival was to include some 30 events. But Mayor Gary Goobie said many of those functions are being postponed indefinitely because of impending snowfalls and the lock-out of the Town’s unionized workers.

“Getting things set up, taking them down, snow clearing and whatnot, especially up to the park and festival grounds, and so there’s no doubt that it would be quite a challenge under the circumstances we’re faced with right now,” Goobie said.

The Town locked out the 15 members of CUPE Local 3768 last Monday.

“There’s some uncertainty there, where we can expect some picketing going on, and we did not want to go putting the public in an uncomfortable position,” the mayor said. “We felt that, out of respect for the whole process that’s going on right now, that it was in everybody’s best interest to postpone it to a later date. Hopefully at that time, the weather will still be conducive and we’ll be able to put it off.”

The Town’s director of recreation and community events, Steve Martin, confirmed that although most events have been postponed, there are a select few that will still go ahead.

Martin explained some events are hosted by local organizations, and not the town itself. Those events, along with the town-organized Chilly Dash, are still set for the regularly scheduled times.

The seven events that are still on the schedule include the Crystal Cup Mixed Dart Tournament and Carnival Valentine’s Dance both on February 15, the Old Fashioned Fish Cake Dinner on February 18, and the Holyrood Heritage Museum’s ‘Honouring Dr. Frederick Banting’ on the 21. That same night, the Irish Pub Night is set to go ahead as well.

The next day, the sold-out Chilly Dash will be held as the only town organized event. Lastly, the St. John’s Edge vs. Island Storm hockey game at Mile One Centre is still set to take place on February 23.

Although there is no date set yet for the remainder of the carnival, Martin said the organizing committee is keeping an eye on the labour dispute, and will examine the schedule to see what they can do to pull off the rest of the carnival once it is resolved.

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