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Rock the Garden canceled, Pride postponed over COVID-19

Some of Minnesota's favorite summer events, like Rock the Garden and Twin Cities Pride, will have to wait.
Credit: KARE 11
2019 Twin Cities Pride Parade, Credit: Ben Garvin

MINNEAPOLIS — Two more big summer cancellations rolled in Friday in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Walker and The Current have officially canceled this year's Rock the Garden, which was scheduled for Saturday, June 20. And Twin Cities Pride is postponed until an undetermined date.

“These decisions have been incredibly difficult for us to make,” said Twin Cities Pride Board Chair Darcie Baumann in a statement. “Our staff and volunteers are still spending countless hours exploring every possible option for us to be able to celebrate Pride safely."

While Pride is expected to be rescheduled, Rock the Garden will simply resume in 2021, according to organizers.

"For 22 years, we’ve been producing this beloved community celebration of eclectic, joyous, creative music, featuring both iconic figures as well as emerging local and national music artists," said Philip Bither, McGuire Director and Senior Curator for Performing Arts at the Walker. "The community aspect is what we’ll miss most and what we’ll most look forward to when we welcome our audiences back to Rock the Garden in 2021.”

The news comes on the heels of an announcement Friday that Minneapolis beaches, pools and water parks will be closed this summer to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Currently, the Minneapolis Aquatennial is moving forward as scheduled, but officials are keeping a close eye on the situation.

"As of today, the Minneapolis Aquatennial is moving forward as planned,” said Leah Wong, vice president of external relations for the mpls downtown council. “However, we are continuing to watch the evolving pandemic and will make decisions related to the schedule as necessary.”

The Aquatennial Ambassador program, however, has been canceled, according to the Board of Directors for the Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO).

"We understand this regrettable action impacts our community partners, sponsors, alumni, our current Ambassadors, and visitors from other festivals, but feel it is our responsibility to help prevent the spread of Covid-19," the AAO said in a statement. "We are engaged in discussions about how to manage the cessation of activities while preserving our dedication to the young women of Minnesota, the communities they represent, and strengthening the legacy of this valuable organization. Details of further action will be coming as these discussions continue"

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