WAMBO cancelled for first time in 31 years

Boats along the Sydenham River at WAMBO in Wallaceburg. (Photo by Blackburn Radio Road Crew)

Organizers of the Wallaceburg Antique Motor and Boat Outing (WAMBO) are cancelling this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board of directors for WAMBO announced their decision on Monday, citing the uncertainty surrounding provincial restrictions during the pandemic.

“We held out as long as we could, with the hopes that the safety measures would be relaxed by the time our event rolled around in August,” said Bill Wolsing, WAMBO’s chair. “Unfortunately, with the measures still in place and the global pandemic still ongoing, we had no choice but to cancel the event for this year.”

WAMBO has been an annual event held in the community of Wallaceburg for the last 31 straight years. This marks the first year since its inception in 1989 that the community-wide celebration will not take place.

Last year, organizers estimated that over 20,000 people attended the three-day event.

“This pandemic has challenged our communities and impacted everyone in some way,” Wolsing said. “It has knocked us down, but we are a resilient, strong and unified community. We’ll get back up, and be stronger than ever. Our heart goes out to all of the front line workers and researchers, who are dedicating their lives to combating this virus. We’ll get through this together.”

Wolsing added that the board is thanking everyone involved in the event for their support.

“Our board and our volunteers are dedicated and looking forward to bringing WAMBO back during the second weekend of August in 2021,” he said.