One of Le Sueur’s largest summer festivals has been canceled.
On Wednesday, May 20, the Le Sueur Giant Celebration Committee announced that Giant Celebration and the kick off would not be held this year. The celebration was scheduled to begin on the first weekend of August in American Legion Park, but the committee wrote on Facebook that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival had to be canceled.
“Our highest priority is to keep our community members and visitors, both safe and healthy,” the Giant Celebration Committee wrote in a message to the community. “As we have been monitoring the states recommendations and regulations around COVID-19, we have made the very difficult decision and have decided to cancel Giant Celebration- Kick off as well as our Giant Celebration Weekend 2020.”
“We understand and acknowledge the disappointment that this will bring to our community and visitors, but we want to ensure that we are in a position to come back bigger, stronger and better than ever in 2021,” they continued.
Julie Boyland, Executive Director of the Le Sueur Chamber of Commerce, explained that the decision was made after the committee ran into a number of difficulties in planning.
“The decision to cancel Giant Celebration was a difficult one,” said Boyland. “Even though it seems that this decision was made too early, it takes quite a bit of time and coordination to get all the pieces of the Celebration in place. There were other factors that also played into this decision such as; neighboring towns already cancelled their celebrations, we had already received cancellations from marching bands due to the fact that they cannot gather to practice, approaching businesses for sponsorships during this unsettled economy, social distancing in crowds is difficult to enforce and finding volunteers to work in crowded situations. The most important thing is to keep our community safe and healthy.”
Giant Celebration has long been an important event for the Le Sueur Community, drawing in hundreds to partake in the fair’s many activities including a 5K fun run, the Giant Celebration parade, the Le Sueur Lions Club Classic Car Roll-In as well as an evening concert and fireworks.
The news was met disappointment from many in the Le Sueur community. The Giant Celebration Committee’s post on Facebook was shared 100 times within 24 hours. Reactions to the message were split; some praised the committee for their past work and keeping safety in mind while others criticized the cancellation.
This may not be the end for Giant Celebration though. No plans have yet been made, but the committee is looking into holding a smaller event this year if state guidance allows it.
“The Committee is looking at options for holding some sort of down-scaled version of Giant Celebration,” said Boyland. “No decisions have been made at this time but we will keep the community informed once a decision is made.”
With this year’s celebration canceled, the donations from sponsors and local businesses for the kick-off will instead be put toward the Giant Celebration Kick-Off in 2021. Despite the cancellation, Giant Celebration merchandise including Le Sueur Lager, t-shirts, hats and koozies are continuing to be sold.
“We know that Le Sueur is a strong community,” wrote the committee. “And we are confident that we will come back in 2021 stronger than ever, and we as a committee will strive to make it one of the best Giant Celebration events yet. We love all of our visitors and followers, and we appreciate all of your continued support, always, and especially during this time.”