River City Days 2019

The Minnesota Valley Community Band packs the park for River City Days in 2019.

The 45th Annual Chaska River City Days has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, confirmed Jodi Hesse, executive director.

The multi-day event in City Square Park and downtown Chaska typically includes food vendors, music and activities for families.

The board of directors voted to cancel it “110 percent” because of the virus, Hesse said. With the state’s 250-person gathering restriction, having the as-per-usual event wouldn’t be possible, she said.

“Because nothing’s changed, we had to throw in the towel,” Hesse said. “We half-expected it, so it wasn’t a huge surprise for anyone.”

River City Days, which was previously postponed until September this year, only garnered one interested nonprofit food vendor, compared to the average 10.

Officials are contacting registered vendors for refunds, Hesse said, and are contracting food and music acts for 2021 instead.

Groups like churches, animal shelters and scouting troops are the main reason for the event.

“The whole event exists to raise money for nonprofits and community groups,” Hesse said. “There’s a ton of groups that come in just for the purpose of raising money and it’s their biggest fundraiser of the year.”

She said through the team is “obviously disappointed,” it’s the right decision.

“We want everyone to be healthy and safe and want to be part of the solution and not add to the problem,” Hesse said.


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