This photo captures a big tent being put up in fairgrounds in Maple Ridge, B.C. Salmon Arm council has suggested the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds might be a good space for a big tent request from the Salmon Arm Mennonite Church. (Black Press Media file photo)
A big tent is being put up in the middle of the Albion Fairgrounds. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

This photo captures a big tent being put up in fairgrounds in Maple Ridge, B.C. Salmon Arm council has suggested the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds might be a good space for a big tent request from the Salmon Arm Mennonite Church. (Black Press Media file photo) A big tent is being put up in the middle of the Albion Fairgrounds. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Church’s request for big tent in city park denied by Salmon Arm council

City council suggests fall fairgrounds as an option because ball diamonds may be in use

A request by a Salmon Arm church to put up a large tent in Blackburn Park at the end of July has been denied by Salmon Arm council.

In April, the Salmon Arm Mennonite Church wrote to council to request permission to use a ball diamond from July 28 to 31 in order to hold church services, mostly in the evenings. The letter said it had held the event at the same location for several years until 2020, when pandemic restrictions came in.

Council deferred making a decision when it first entertained the request at its April 25 meeting in order to have staff check with baseball organizations about their use of the fields.

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, reported at council’s May 9 meeting that the minor ball association indicated it’s early in their bookings and they’re still organizing. However, they would like to have the option to use the fields on July 30 and 31.

Coun. Debbie Cannon said council needs to keep in mind the ball diamonds were built for sports.

“We have to respect that.”

Council asked staff about other venue options but most had conflicting uses or not enough space. The tent is 30 by 60 feet.

Mayor Alan Harrison suggested the fall fair grounds and Coun. Kevin Flynn agreed, saying the date should be far enough away from the ROOTSandBLUES Festival.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren, council’s representative on the Salmon Arm and Shuswap Agricultural Association, said increased use of the fairgrounds was discussed at a recent meeting, so the association might be amenable to the suggestion.

Staff agreed to let the church know.

Read more: Request for big tent in Salmon Arm’s Blackburn Park rests on baseball needs

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martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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