River City Days

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

Two of Chaska’s big city festivals are being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 36th annual Taste of Chaska and the 45th annual River City Days are being pushed back months.

Taste of Chaska, an event that attracts local restaurants and vendors to City Square Park, was moved from May 13 to Aug. 12, according to the SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event.

RIVER CITY DAYS

River City Days is postponed until fall, according to Director Jodi Hesse. Originally set for the last weekend in July, the city’s largest festival typically features a parade, food and music. It is a big fundraising event for local nonprofit groups.

The postponed River City Days doesn’t have a set date, Hesse said, but the committee canceled it with plenty of time to spare for a reason.

“Everything we do is funded by the community. So we take that responsibility very seriously and did not feel that the timing, for all the reasons, was appropriate,” Hesse said. “That’s why we made the decision when we made it, was to not get too far into things.”

The festival is governed by a 501c3 and relies on donations and volunteers.

Hesse said she doesn’t think Chaska River City Days has ever been postponed or canceled. In a Facebook post, organizers called the decision to delay the event “difficult,” but people have been sympathetic in light of the virus.

“So far, the community has been extremely supportive of our decision. We just want to make sure that people understand that we have every intention of keeping as much of the tradition as we possibly can in the fall,” Hesse said.

Any registration payments will be refunded, and details are expected to be posted at the festival’s website as soon as possible.

To make the festival “successful and safe,” Hesse said a postponed date will likely do — they don’t anticipate canceling it altogether.

“We still want this community event. We still want to try and do the same things,” she said. “It’ll just be a little cooler weather.”

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