May 17—NORTH MANKATO — Fun Days is back on in North Mankato following the easing of pandemic event restrictions.
The community celebration will be July 7-10 after all but will have fewer events than a typical year.
Organizers had announced last month that Fun Days would be canceled for a second consecutive year due to the pandemic.
On Monday they announced they are canceling the cancellation.
"We made the earlier decision with the information we had at the time, and now with new information, we are excited to bring back a bit of normalcy to our community," Fun Days Co-Coordinator Denny Kemp said in an announcement.
"Now that more and more people are receiving the vaccine each day, and keeping safety as our highest priority," he said, "we can confidently proceed with most of the scope, spectacle and spirit of Fun Days in 2021."
This year's celebration will include a carnival in Wheeler Park, the parade with donations collected for ECHO Food Shelf, a car show and other traditions.
But some events, including the kiddie parade, pedal pull and petting zoo will not be held this year.
The celebration is hosted by the North Mankato Civic Commerce Association and the city of North Mankato. It began in 1965 to thank community members who helped save the town from devastating floods that spring.
Kemp said the organizing committee had decided to cancel this year's event due to concern from volunteers about potentially being exposed to the virus and about how difficult it would be to enforce event size and other state pandemic restrictions.
But quickly rising vaccination rates and the lifting of capacity limits for outdoor events led the group to revive this year's celebration.
A few events are still canceled, Kemp said, because the vendor was no longer available and/or to avoid congregating young children who are not yet old enough to be vaccinated.
The planning committee and volunteers are busy, Kemp said, but they are confident they can have the other events organized in time.
Volunteers duties already have been filled. Parade participants are asked to register by June 15. Others are asked to just come and enjoy and bring a food or cash donation for the food shelf to the parade.