River City Days 2020 CANCELLED

May 22, 2020–FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–38TH Annual Red Wing River City Days Cancelled
With the safety of our community in mind, the River City Days Committee, Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce Staff, Board of Directors, and the City of Red Wing have decided to cancel the 38th Annual River City Days which was scheduled for July 31, August 1 & 2, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many factors were taken into consideration while deciding the fate of this year’s event including MN 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 cancelling was in the best interest of all,” stated Patty Brown, Executive Director of the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce. Brown added, “With the ban of large groups and 6ft. social distancing requirements (which will likely carry on throughout the summer), it makes it very difficult to hold a community festival. The health and safety of our volunteers, residents, visitors, vendors, entertainers, artists and staff is our top priority.”
Red Wing Mayor Sean Dowse stated, “We’re very sorry the Chamber is unable to put on this festival for the community. 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.”
“A large festival like River City Days is only possible through significant financial support from our business community. With the current state-of-affairs, we feel this is an added stress to ask our business community to sponsor an event like this now, especially while many of them are at limited capacity or closed. While we cannot predict what late July/early August will bring, preparation for River City Days begins one year (or more) in advance,” added Brown.
Brown also stated, “River City Days brings approximately 40,000 people together on an annual basis. For many, the weekend is a highlight of summer and it serves as a premiere celebration for beautiful Red Wing featuring free entertainment, delicious food, arts & crafts, a large parade, many tournaments and good family fun. River City Days provides an economic boost to our local business community and the entire region the first weekend of August. What some may not realize is that this festival is a significant fundraiser for the Chamber as well as many other nonprofits in the community including the Red Wing Elks Lodge, the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties, the Red Wing Rotary Club, Red Wing Youth Outreach, Red Wing Royal Ambassadors and many others. Local restaurants in the Taste of Red Wing and other food vendors, entertainment, and arts and crafts vendors are also taking financial hits as a result of this festival and many others being cancelled around the region. In addition to the River City Days cancellation, the Red Wing Royal Ambassador program, the Youth Outreach Duck Rally, the Guns & Hoses Tournament, and the Rotary Parade have also been cancelled for 2020, hoping to return in 2021.
We hope you will support the River City Days Committee and the Red Wing Chamber Board in the decision to keep our community safe. Planning is already underway for 2021 River City Days, which will be August 6-8, 2021, and we look forward to celebrating with all of you then! For more information contact Patty Brown, Executive Director, Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce at patty@redwingchamber.com or call 651-388-4719.

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