As COVID-19 continues to spread in our community and the number of infected people rises, officials have decided to cancel the 2020 Winterfest in Bayliss Park event. Nevertheless, the City is installing the holiday lights display in Bayliss Park, but will not host the annual lighting ceremony or social festivities this year.
“The Winterfest event has grown tremendously over the last few years, and canceling this year’s event was not an easy decision to make,” said Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh. “Considering our local COVID-19 situation, hosting a gathering that brings together several thousand people is not advisable or responsible.”
Winterfest usually takes place the week before Thanksgiving. The City hosts the event in partnership with The 712 Initiative, PACE, and the UP Museum. Winterfest is the City’s annual lighting ceremony with additional festivities including live reindeer, pictures with Santa Claus, face painting, balloon art, a movie in the park, arts and crafts, live music, food trucks, holiday shopping, and more.
“The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Pottawattamie County has been rising for weeks. Currently, 15.9% of those tested for COVID-19 are positive,” said Matt Wyant with Pottawattamie County Public Health. “Canceling the Winterfest event this year is prudent, and on behalf of Public Health, we support and appreciate the decision.”
The Winterfest Committee has begun planning for 2021 and promises to come back bigger and better than ever with more ways for the community to be involved in Winterfest.