RED WING — With the safety of the community in mind, the River City Days Committee, Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce and city of Red Wing have canceled River City Days. The event scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2, 2020, would have been the 38th annual.
Also announced on Friday, the Red Wing Collectors Society canceled its convention set for July 9-11, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We really hoped that we would be able to hold the convention, but unfortunately the timing is not in our favor, and a decision had to be made,” RWCS President Paul Wichert said. “There is too much to overcome from a logistical standpoint to adhere to social distancing guidelines and keep our members safe.”
The convention is scheduled to resume July 8-10, 2021.
"Many factors were taken into consideration while deciding the fate of this year's event including Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's mandates and recommendations by public health officials that include social distancing, wearing masks and small groups. Much thought was given to other options before ultimately deciding canceling was in the best interest of all," said Patty Brown, the chamber's executive director.
In a newsletter to chamber members, Brown added, "With the ban of large groups and 6-foot social distancing requirements (which will likely carry on throughout the summer), it makes it very difficult to hold a community festival."
Red Wing Mayor Sean Dowse stated, "We know the chamber puts a lot of time and hard work into planning this event and has a long history of successful festivals. We also know it will have a negative impact on many nonprofit organizations that use River City Days as a major fundraiser. But we also agree with the decision made by the chamber board that keeping our community and everyone in it safe is the top priority. Running River City Days during this pandemic would have a lot of risk."
River City Days typically brings 40,000 people to Red Wing.