The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)

Laketown Ranch to welcome campers this summer

Sunfest site will provide camping amenities between May and September

With large events in limbo again for the summer of 2021, Laketown Ranch is opening up its festival site for camping this year.

Laketown Ranch announced on Feb. 18 that it will begin accepting reservations in March for camping between May 21 and Sept. 30, during non-event weeks, if events are allowed to happen this year.

The campsites will be located on the upper part of the festival site, away from the highway.

“Nestled amongst the forest and rolling pastures of the beautiful upper level of the ranch, the grounds are the ideal camping location for families, groups and those simply looking for a quiet escape,” the post stated. “Stay on the property and enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, and more or head out for a day trip to explore the lake and all the other wonders the area has to offer. On selected nights you’ll be able to enjoy live music, food and good company in our new camp village.”

There will be space for RVs, tent campers and groups. Showers, flush toilets and boat storage will be available.

According to Laketown Ranch events manager Mike Hann, there will initially be 190 campsites, including nine group sites. Smaller sites can be combined to make more group sites if necessary.

“If there is more demand for group sites, we can create more,” Hann said. “We are pretty malleable.”

In most years, group sites would be based on 16 to 32 occupants, but as of right now, both group and regular sites will be limited to eight people, based on provincial health regulations related to COVID-19.

“We are being very diligent,” Hann said. “We’re not pushing any boundaries. We’re not looking to step outside the boundaries of the law.”

The campground will have other COVID policies based on provincial regulations, including contact tracing. Laketown Ranch is also working with health authorities on a way to have live music at the campground on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.

Most summers, Laketown Ranch is the site of multiple music festivals, including the long-running Sunfest, and the newer Laketown Shakedown. Both festivals had to be rescheduled in 2020. Laketown Shakedown on the Canada Day long weekend was supposed to be headlined by the Wu-Tang Clan, Ludacris, Third Eye Blind and Nelly, and Sunfest on the BC Day long weekend was supposed to be headlined by Keith Urban, Jon Pardi and Dallas Smith.

The 2021 festivals are up in the air at this point. They haven’t been cancelled, and Laketown Ranch is waiting for further word from the provincial health authorities.

“We are going to remain optimistic,” Hann said. “We have all our ducks in a row and will move forward if we are given the go-ahead.”

For more information about camping at Laketown Ranch, visit www. laketownranch.com/campground

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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