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The annual Link Picnic Festival is over

WATERLOO REGION — The Link Picnic Festival, an annual celebration of Afro-Caribbean-Black culture for nearly 20 years, will end, organizers announced Friday.

“It was a very difficult decision, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to overcome the many challenges,” a statement read.

“We are deeply grateful to all of our patrons, vendors, volunteers, funders and sponsors, as well as the many artists and others who have supported us over the past 16 years.”

The annual event has been a summer staple for nearly two decades where families and friends can celebrate African and Caribbean culture with food, music, workshops, lessons and vendors in Victoria Park at the end of August.

For the past two years, the organizers have held the event online, with various performances from DJs, drummers and songwriters playing live from their website.

The last in-person event was in 2019, with the usual costumed carnival parade.

Ten years prior, the festival moved from Waterloo Park West to Victoria Park after noise complaints from residents of Luther Village on the Park, a seniors’ complex.

Organizers said they hope other individuals or groups will reimagine the event to “provide another opportunity to celebrate Afro-Caribbean-Black culture” in the region.

The organizing team says they are happy to share information with anyone interested in continuing the festival in one form or another. He can be reached at [email protected]