Forbidden Spirits is located at 4400 Wallace Hill Rd, Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)

Sanitizer giveaway at Okanagan distillery shut down after patrons become violent

Fights broke out among some in the nearly 1,000-car-line outside Forbidden Spirits

A Kelowna distillery was giving away free hand sanitizer when fights broke out among some people waiting in the nearly 1,000-car-long line.

Forbidden Spirits Distilling Co. hosted its first ‘Sanitizer Saturday’ on April 11.

The distillery planned on distributing sanitizer from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. but the RCMP stepped in to shut things down just before 3 p.m. as the lengthy queue of cars began to block roads. Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy with the Kelowna RCMP said officers did not observe any violence.

“Other than traffic-related concerns, the only other issue noted was impatience,” she said.

Others at the scene, however, did see that impatience turn heated.

The distillery’s co-founder, Blair Wilson, said he attributes the fights to people ‘butting in line’, frustrating other drivers who had already been waiting in line.

“It’s not the type of behaviour we’d like to see,” said Wilson.

Other than a few incidents, Wilson said most everybody was well behaved.

Despite the early shut-down, Wilson said the distillery was able to connect with several health facilities currently running low on sanitizer and will deliver some of their product straight to them. The distillery ended up serving around 400 cars, with a maximum of two litres per car.

The distillery still plans on hosting a Sanitizer Saturday next weekend, but Wilson said they will likely only be serving 500 cars with the line rerouted so that no intersections are blocked.

“We’re going to be a little bit better organized,” he said. “Now we know what to expect.”

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 case total up by 45 after Easter weekend

READ MORE: Kelowna distillery Forbidden Spirits to provide free sanitizer to community


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