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2021 McCall Winter Carnival canceled due to rising COVID-19 cases

The decision was made just weeks after the McCall Chamber of Commerce unveiled new safety measures to be implemented during the carnival.

MCCALL, Idaho — The McCall Area Chamber of Commerce announced on Sunday the 2021 McCall Winter Carnival has been canceled. 

The decision was made due to rising COVID-19 cases, diminishing hospital capacity, and restrictions placed on public gatherings, according to a Facebook post.

"We simply cannot in good faith produce an event that goes against current restrictions on public gatherings and COVID safety measures," the post stated.

In early November, organizers of the event unveiled multiple changes to the layout of the carnival to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Children's Torchlight Parade, Mardi Gras Parade, firework shows, beer garden, and Main Stage music were all put on hold before the entire event was canceled.

"While we know it is disappointing to not be able to host these events," said McKenzie Kraemer with the McCall Area Chamber, "they are simply going to have to wait until we are clear of the pandemic."

In lieu of Winter Carnival, the McCall Area Chamber will be promoting safe winter activities throughout the winter season.

"Our hope is that we can still provide some of the experiences you would find at Winter Carnival," Kraemer says, "just spread out over several months rather than concentrated in 10 days.

This winter's observance -- which would've been the 56th annual -- was set to run from Friday Jan. 29 through Sunday Feb. 7, 2021.

Each year, the carnival hosts around 60,000 attendees.

While the McCall Chamber will not host the carnival this year, they are hoping to still celebrate the "Winter Wanderlust" over the coming months. They say they will work to share safe ways visitors can enjoy McCall during the winter season.

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