The new COVID-19 restrictions Gov. Tim Walz announced earlier this week has forced the cancellation of Excelsior's annual Christmas market.
Although event organizers are "extremely sad" to announce the event is canceled, they say they support the governor's executive order which prohibits outdoor social gatherings for four weeks, among other restrictions.
"We worked overtime to make this event happen safely, realizing in many ways it is more needed in 2020 than previous years. Thousands were planning on it; so many were happy and excited to be able to experience something fun, traditional and memory-making," event organizers said in a Facebook post on Thursday. "Yet in recent days, our planning committee grew increasingly concerned about public safety as COVID-19 cases spiked in Minnesota and surrounding states, and we support the governor’s action here."
While the annual festival, which would be marking its 15th year, won't happen, event organizers do plan to launch “Chriskindlsmarkt Live,” a virtual experience that will feature many of this year's vendors, singers, Father Christmas, and a llama-cam.
Chriskindlsmarkt Live will be available on the event's website here starting Saturday, Nov. 28, with more programming details expected to be announced in the coming days.