There will be no Elks May Day Parade after all.
A representative of Elks Lodge 122 said via Facebook message that the annual event, set for its 88th edition to happen today, had to be halted.
An initial Facebook message addressed from P.G. Elks Community Hall stated on Thursday that "regretfully this parade had to be cancelled due to not getting maps for location from the City."
A further message said on Friday that "this is to notify all that due to City not providing map of route for parade(s) that they are putting into effect, too many participants had cancelled due to not knowing what when where how for the parade and the parade had to be cancelled. We are working with the City elected official to ensure the persons are going to proceed in a better manner. We also wanted to put on a Santa Claus Parade and they will be working with this also. Our apologies to all that are disappointed and we hope to make this up to you."
When The Citizen contacted Elks Club administrator Larry Lovell for clarification, he explained that they made their formal application for the parade on March 16 and were given permission to go ahead, but the permit was only valid with an official map of the route which City Hall would provide.
"We got it day before yesterday," said Lovell on Friday. "There is a delegated map now for all parades. This is a new program someone in one of the upper offices thought up. It was too late, then (only three days in advance of the event). We ended up with only three participants who were willing to go ahead. Nobody else wanted to take a chance, in case it was deemed illegal. They wanted that map to be in our hands so we had the legal certainty, and that is perfectly right, but we couldn't do that for them."
Lovell said he was in to the office at City Hall so many times he now knows the clerk on a first-name basis and the clerk would cringe every time he came through the door, knowing there was no new answer to the months-old question.
The City of Prince George was asked for comment. A representative said those answers would be made available after the long weekend.