The holiday season is right around the corner and local traditions may look very different this year due to COVID-19.

The St. Cloud Downtown Council made the decision to cancel the annual Winter Nights and Lights Parade for 2020 due to the global pandemic.

They made the announcement on the front page of their website. Typically the Winter Nights and Lights parade draws crowds by the hundreds to the downtown area each December.

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According to WJON, the number of COVID cases in Minnesota continues to spike. As of Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 5 more people in the tri-county area died as a result of COVID-19 with thousands of new cases across the state.

Normally, the Winter Nights and Lights Parade starts early in the day with the annual Winter Wonderland event for kids and families at Lake George. That event has been canceled as well.

You won't be able to catch Santa and Mrs. Claus in the parade this year...but, he will be at Crossroads Mall again this year by appointment only or online for a virtual meeting.

If you're looking for a fun holiday light event in central Minnesota, you can check out the Country Lights Festival in Sartell instead. It's a huge free walking light display that kicks off on December 1st  and goes through the end of December.