Grand Old Day 2019 in St. Paul canceled

St. Paul's annual Grand Old Day is canceled this year, the Grand Avenue Business Association announced Tuesday.

According to event organizers, the board of directors made the decision in an effort to "keep the event fresh for 2020."

Jeremy Nilson, owner of The Gaming Goat store on Grand Avenue, said it's one of the biggest sales days of the year.

"I couldn't believe they would cancel an event that big a month and a half before it was supposed to happen," he said.

According to the association, the cost to put on Grand Old Day goes up every year, while it gets harder to find sponsors, vendors and volunteers to hold the annual event.

“The whole board feels sad this event won't be taking place. It is part of Grand Avenue, part of Minnesota, so it was a tragedy to have to make that decision," said Allison Penner-Hurst with the association.

Last year, Grand Old Day drew 200,000 people to St. Paul for a day of food, fun and live music. The association said this is the first time in its 45 year history the event has been canceled.

“We are competing against more festivals in the Twin Cities area and statewide," Penner-Hurst said.

Peter Leggett, the communications director for the St. Paul mayor's office, released the following statement:

“We join our community in supporting the tough choice made by the Grand Avenue Business Association to cancel the 2019 Grand Old Day. We look forward to working with them and our partners along Grand Avenue to continue this Saint Paul tradition in 2020.”