BLAINE - Rising costs have led to the cancellation of Hands Across the Border, an event that drew thousands to Peace Arch State Park each June to celebrate the ties between Canada and America.
The event had run almost every year for the past 94 years, only cancelled twice during World War II and twice for major construction projects.
Thousands of young people from both sides of the border, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youth groups, came to the event, held the second Saturday of June at Peace Arch State Park. During the event, the Peace Arch border crossing would be closed, and cars would be rerouted to other nearby crossings.
Paying for insurance, portable bathrooms and to close the roads meant the event could cost up to $10,000 to run, said John Liebert, vice president of the International Peace Arch Association, which puts on the event. He and association president Sue Head agreed that it was time to end it.
"My issue was we had no funding. Her issue was they were getting tired and had no other people ready to step up and do any of the work," he said. "We came together and said we just can't do this anymore with no money and no workers."
Liebert said he was thankful to all the Scouts and volunteers who have attended and helped with the event, but he didn't imagine that anyone would be picking up the reins to continue it.
"Ninety years: It was a great run but it's just kind of run its course," he said.