Earlier this year, Council deemed Friday the 13th in Port Dover a non-event due to significant public health concerns and general uncertainty related to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the fact that August 13th has been declared a non-event, staff have been planning for the arrival of visitors to the area and are finalizing pedestrian/vehicular traffic control and emergency preparedness measures in collaboration with police.

There have been no entertainment or events scheduled or advertised to occur this coming Friday the 13th and amenities, including parking, will be limited.

Large numbers of people coming together from different regions with unknown vaccination statuses pose significant concerns, especially with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.

Under Step 3 of Ontario’s re-opening plan, up to 100 people can gather outdoors, and Friday the 13th attendance record has historically surpassed that limit.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors again for Friday the 13th festivities once it’s safe to do so, however, encourage anyone who is considering making the trip this year to reconsider in the interest of our community’s safety,” said Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp.

Chopp indicated that Norfolk is looking at what can be done as far as a ‘rain date’ for next year that may not necessarily fall on the 13th, but will involve the usual festivities and attractions.

Individuals who intend to be in the vicinity of downtown Port Dover this Friday the 13th are encouraged to follow all public health guidelines, including regular hand washing, physical distancing and mask-wearing when indoors or where physical distancing cannot be maintained with others outside of their own household.