Coronavirus has canceled one of the biggest holiday light shows in North Carolina, officials say.

Meadow Lights won’t offer its display this year in Benson, a town in Johnston County and roughly 30 miles south of Raleigh.

The light display was started more than four decades ago and in the past attracted thousands of visitors from late November to December, The News & Observer reported in 2013. It is billed as the “largest and oldest Christmas attraction” in the eastern part of the state, according to its website.

Now, those wanting to join in on the holiday tradition will have to wait until 2021.

“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and to prevent spread of the virus we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Christmas light show and the opening of our candy store for the 2020 season,” organizers wrote in a Facebook post.

Meadow Lights says it plans to reopen on Nov. 19, 2021.

“We will miss seeing everyone but look forward to a bigger and better 2021 season,” the Facebook post said.

The cancellation comes as the coronavirus has forced organizers of other major North Carolina events to alter their events.

McAdenville, a Charlotte-area town also called Christmas Town USA, recently announced plans to cut back on its light display and related activities, The Charlotte Observer reported. The event typically draws a half-million people.

And the SouthPark Turkey Trot, an annual Thanksgiving run in Charlotte, has transitioned to virtual-only participation. The event has been called the largest running event in the state, the Observer reported.

Another holiday destination, the Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights in the Winston-Salem area, plans to kick off Nov. 13, its website said as of Sept. 24.


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