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No Aquatennial in 2020: 'Does not feel like it is time to celebrate'

Organizers cite the coronavirus pandemic and impact of George Floyd's death in canceling 2020 events.
Credit: KARE
The Minneapolis Aquatennial hosted its annual fireworks show in July 2018.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Downtown Council has announced that Aquatennial events will be canceled in 2020.

Organizers cite both the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the community impact following the police-involved death of George Floyd in May.

"It is Aquatennial time, and we will miss seeing you in person this year," Minneapolis Aquatennial organizers said in a statement. "Our community continues to navigate the realities of COVID-19 and its impacts on public health. We will always prioritize community safety over celebrations. More importantly, Minneapolis is still reeling from the death of George Floyd. Our community has been deeply impacted by his tragic death and the unrest that followed. Simply said, it does not feel like it is time to celebrate. We want to take the time to honor our community and give space for the important work that needs to be done."

In place of traditional events, the Aquatennial will use its social media accounts to share "activities, content, and memories" from July 22-25.

Organizers are already planning for the 2021 Aquatennial from July 21-24, 2021, including the traditional Torchlight Parade and fireworks.

"As our community begins to heal, we are encouraged by neighbors helping neighbors and the hope and spirit of Minneapolis at work. We are optimistic we will be in a better place to celebrate next year."

Credit: KARE
Marchers welcome spectators to the Minneapolis Aquatennial Torchlight Parade in July 2019.

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