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Grants Pass Boatnik event canceled for second year in a row

The 2021 Boatnik event in Grants Pass has been canceled, event organizers announced Friday.

It’s the second year in a row the event has been canceled due to COVID-19. The annual Memorial Day weekend festival had been held for more than 60 years. It boasted a carnival, vendors, rides, a parade, and the main event — boat races.

“There was not a lack of effort ... from our membership to give this community an event that provides a beacon of normalcy,” the Grants Pass Active Club, which runs the event, said in a news release. “However, as large and complex as our event is, we require permits to run components of Boatnik. We were not granted those permits this year, meaning no carnival, vendors or parade due to the state’s COVID-19 outdoor gathering restrictions.”

Officials said they plan to perform a Memorial Day ceremony and hold the Tom Rice Memorial Race Monday, May 31. Additional details will be released closer to the planned event.

“We will back in 2022 with a Boatnik that this community deserves,” the release said.