Photos: Orange shirt parade and Canada Day events in Sechelt Coast Reporter
CHICAGO (CBS) — An orange flag few above the Wrigley Field marquee on Friday as part of Wear Orange Weekend – a campaign against gun violence.
The Wear Orange movement was created in honor of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on a Chicago playground.
Hadiya and some classmates had gone to Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue on Jan. 29, 2013, and were taking cover from a rainstorm, when prosecutors said Ward opened fire.
Prosecutors said Ward thought he was shooting at rival gang members. Instead, he killed Hadiya.
The shooting happened a week after Hadiya had performed with her school band at President Barack Obama’s inauguration for his second term in Washington. Coincidentally, Hadiya had also appeared in a public service announcement about gang violence in late 2008.
Wear Orange began on June 2, 2015, which would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Since then it has expanded to a period of three days each year – National Gun Violence Awareness Day on the first Friday in June, and Wear Orange Weekend on the Saturday and Sunday afterward.
Wear Orange noted that orange has now become the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement.
The Cubs are encouraging fans to wear orange to Sunday’s game, at which Pendleton’s family will throw out the first pitch.
Other Chicago sports teams have also tweeted support for Wear Orange.
Major players in events and hospitality say a shift to the orange traffic light setting would give them back a sense of control over their businesses at a time when they desperately need certainty.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce the latest review of Covid-19 settings on Monday, which could see the country, or certain regions, move from “red” to “orange” – and the end of 200-person limits on indoor gatherings.
The red setting also mandated seated table service at restaurants and bars and hospitality needed this lifted, according to Jeremy Smith, director of the Trinity Group, which owns Wellington hotels, restaurants and bars such as The Arborist and Lulu’s.
“The late night venues need people to stand and dance to get back to a semblance of normality.”
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Trinity Hotel had 15 guests on Sunday night, in a 60-room hotel, he said.
“As long as we remain in red our businesses will be negatively impacted. As business owners we hope the announcement is made on Monday to go to orange and allow us to have control over our businesses without restrictions.”
The World of Wearable Art (WOW), which has faced cancellations of its annual show for two years running, had pencilled in dates for this year for September and October at Wellington’s TSB Arena.
“We can’t go ahead unless we’re in orange,” chief executive David Tingey said.
“We have fingers, toes and everything crossed, hoping for a change that makes it all possible.
“I’d be kidding if I said I was super confident, but I am confident, and we have a supportive audience and a supportive city “
Organisers had ruled out having any sort of virtual show after consulting with designers, Tingey said.
A move to orange would also see indoor sports stadiums full again, Netball Central and Central Pulse chief executive Fran Scholey said.
It would mean a full house when the Pulse clash with Southern Steel at TSB Arena on April 11, she said.
“Currently we have 200 people in a 3500-seat stadium,” Scholey said.
Event promoter Phil Sprey, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years, said stability was desperately needed if New Zealand expected artists and major events to return.
“The quicker we get back to some sort of normality and stability when it comes to political decisions the better. With these changes sort of dropping all the time nobody trusts anybody any more … everybody is a little gun shy.”
Sprey, who has brought the likes of Elton John, Kiss, and Bon Jovi to our shores, said he wasn’t promoting any artists at the moment and was considering retirement given the pandemic.
“If you’re not a major international promoter insurance is nigh on impossible to get, because of the various twists of Covid. People like ourselves can’t afford to not have insurance.”
In other announced changes, the vaccine pass system becomes voluntary, vaccine mandates are eased and outdoor gathering limits are eliminated from 11:59pm on Monday.
Wellington City Council is yet to announce it will lift vaccine pass requirements from its public venues, but this was likely to happen on Wednesday, media spokesperson Victoria Barton-Chapple said.
The passes would be lifted at some point, but the process was a legal requirement, she said.
Hobbiton Movie Set is one of the larger venues welcoming Wednesday’s announcement as they plan ahead for large events like their Middle-earth Halfling Marathon for 2022.
As small businesses and venues celebrate following a relaxation of Covid 19 restrictions, for a major Waikato calendar event, the possibilities are still uncertain.
“For us with Fieldays, it has little impact on our decision to push it out to November, said CEO of National Fieldays Peter Nation.
Each year in June, the 114-hectare site at Mystery Creek is packed with over 130,000 attendees and 13,000 contractors for the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.
He could understand the Government’s cautious approach towards relaxing restrictions but their exhibitors alone, would fill the 200 person indoor limit, so they were holding on for a change to the orange traffic light level.
“We still can’t operate under these rules, particularly under the 200 indoor capacity” he said.
For the popular Matamata tourist attraction, Hobbiton tours, the loosening of rules was the certainty they needed to host their first Middle Earth halfling marathon.
They kept their doors open to limited gathering numbers throughout the pandemic, but the switch to unlimited outdoor numbers was the boost they needed going forward.
“I thought it was pretty fantastic that as a country, we’re at this stage where we can safely loosen these restrictions now” said Shane Forrest, deputy executive for Hobbiton film set.
“It’s all steps in the right direction and pretty positive as well as we connect again with internationals and start to slowly open our borders and host tourists again”.
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The wedding industry was hit especially hard by cancellations due to Covid 19 restrictions.
For Woodside Estate Wedding venue and function centre owner, Les Cox their booking numbers had been sliced in half and as much as the announcement brought optimism for outdoor events, the summer wedding season had already passed.
“A bit late, yes…basically our wedding season is coming to an end now”.
And, for Lawrenson Group bar and restaurant chain owner John Lawrenson, frustration at Wednesday’s news was an understatement.
“It’s just ludicrous to me…the venues that are really affected are the nightclubs, the entertainment venues, the venues that rely on 300-500 people and in one of my venues 2000 people inside dancing and enjoying entertainment” he said.
The Government will review the traffic light settings on April 4.