Loppet ski races canceled this weekend due to bitter cold

(FOX 9)

Due to the bitter cold forecasted for this weekend, the Loppet Foundation will be canceling some of its events for the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival, according to organizers.

The ski races scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will be canceled, but organizers will be shifting the Luminary Loppet from the weekend to earlier in the week on Thursday and Friday nights instead.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no warming houses or fires at the festival this year, which played a major role in the decision to cancel.

"While it may seem early to make a weather decision, the models are only trending worse and this decision is not solely made from weather forecasts alone," read a statement from The Loppet Foundation. "It is impossible to safely conduct an event with these projected temperatures while following COVID-19 protocols. In these conditions, we cannot keep volunteers and participants safe on the course."

Participants in the canceled ski races are encouraged to take part in a hybrid event option, where they can ski the course through Friday, or a virtual event option. The Loppet Foundation is also planning a new ski event during the Mayor's XC Ski Challenge on Feb. 21 and will allow registration transfers from the canceled race.

This was the final weekend of activities for the festival held at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis.