(Mankato, MN) – One of Mankato’s most cherished traditions will take a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 season of the Kiwanis Holiday Lights at Sibley Park has been cancelled due to pandemic restrictions, according to a press release sent Thursday.

“Our board has been meeting regularly since June to discuss our options and make plans to hold our event implementing social-distancing and other modifications this year,” said Scott Wojcik, Kiwanis Holiday Lights President.  “Unfortunately, due to the thousands of people Kiwanis Holiday Lights draw to Sibley Park, we are not able to meet the current guidelines in place by the State of Minnesota and the City of Mankato for limiting event size.”

The holiday lights board considered several alternative options, including a drive-thru event, but determined it was impossible to limit walking traffic from the multiple entrance points at Sibley Park.

Wojcik said the board delayed the decision as long as possible, but set-up was slated to begin soon, and a decision had to be made.

“On the bright side, we’re already making plans for our 10th anniversary in 2021,” said Wojcik. He said the extra time would allow them to plan a big celebration for next year.

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