Merritt Country Christmas Week has decided to cancel the tree lighting ceremony due to safety concerns.
The event was going to mark the start of the highly-anticipated Country Christmas Week.
The usually-quiet town has seen multiple incidents involving tactical forces and heavy police presence over the last week, including a heavy police presence in the city’s downtown core earlier today.
There was also a heavy police presence on Nov. 20, when police executed a search warrant in the 2600 block of Granite Avenue. Flash bangs and a loudspeaker were allegedly used.
Earlier in the week police responded to reports of more than 100 shots fired around the Nicola Valley on Nov. 15.
On Nov. 18, police were in the 2100 block of Priest Avenue after more shots were said to be fired, which police strongly believed was connected to the Nov. 15 shootings.
Later in the day on Nov. 18, RCMP shut down the 1700 Block of Nicola Avenue and flash bangs were deployed.
It is not known if all of the incidents are connected.
The Merritt RCMP have not given any additional updates at this time.