The COVID-19 pandemic is now starting to impact holiday festivities in Minnesota, with the organizers of Holidazzle in Minneapolis announcing its scrapping its in-person festival this year.
The annual event was due to be held once again at Loring Park, but will now be held "virtually" amid ongoing concerns about transmission of the virus at large public gatherings.
Minnesota still has a 250 limit on gatherings – including outdoors – and there are no signs yet that this capacity limit will change in the near future.
What's more, the Mpls WinterSkate ice rink will also not go ahead at Loring Park this winter either, with the Minneapolis Downtown Council noting it will "take the season off to prioritize public health."
"This was a difficult decision, but the right decision. Our community’s health and well-being are most important as we head into the holiday season,” said Leah Wong, vice president of external relations at the downtown council.
"We are excited for the virtual experience Holidazzle will provide as you and yours celebrate with us wherever you are."
A full schedule of the "holiday-themed activities and interactive engagement" offered by the virtual Holidazzle will be released in early November.