CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 2020 North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival has been canceled.
Organizers were disappointed but said they would not hold a festival this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and safety precautions surrounding large gatherings. The festival is planned for 2021 at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheater.
"We waited as long as we could to make the call," said Amphitheater General Manager Taylor Traversari. "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."
In the spirit of the event, several lanterns will be displayed in downtown Cary during the holiday season.
More than 121,000 attended the festival in 2019. The lanterns are comprised of hundreds of parts and thousands of LED lights, charming North Carolinians since 2015.
"No one is more disappointed than us," said Traversari.