CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, an extremely popular annual event in Cary, has been canceled this year due to COVID-19, organizers announced Monday.
Organizers said that due to the current climate in North Carolina surrounding the coronavirus, plus health restrictions on outdoor gatherings, it made the most sense to cancel the festival and wait until 2021.
“We waited as long as we could to make the call”, said Koka Booth Amphitheatre general manager Taylor Traversari in a release. “We had to factor in the time it takes to handcraft and ship the lanterns from China as well as set-up for the event. As much as we hate to do it, considering the current restrictions, we knew there was no way we could welcome the overwhelming crowds that attend each year.”
According to officials with Koka Booth, the festival has grown in numbers every year since it began in 2015. More than 121,000 people – a record – attended in 2019.
“No one is more disappointed than us”, said Traversari. “We know people look forward to this event, and with all the disappointment in 2020 we’re sad not to be able to bring the full lantern display to Cary. With that being said, I want everyone to know we are already looking forward to a bigger and brighter event in 2021.”
Event organizers have made arrangements to bring in some lanterns that will be displayed in downtown Cary this holiday season.
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