Cold, COVID cancels Minnesota parties, New Year’s Eve parties

Between rising COVID cases and lower temperatures, entertainment venues across the state have been canceling and postponing events this week.

Duluth’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights decided not to open on its last day of the season Monday due to strong winds and heavy snow. “It is not safe to have a lot of people driving and taking our volunteers out in these weather conditions,” the group posted on its Facebook page.

Treasure Island has postponed the beach show “Holiday Harmonies”, scheduled for Wednesday. The band also postponed a show that was scheduled for Friday in Connecticut.

Upcoming live music shows at several smaller venues, including the Turf Club in St. Paul and Mortimers in Minneapolis, have also been cancelled.

First Avenue / 7th St. Transfer Entry in Minneapolis has several shows scheduled this week — Suburban, Dessa, and BLOOD$MOKE BODY — through mid-February.

Icehouse, Nicollet Avenue’s restaurant and club, had to scramble to replace its New Year’s Eve lineup after drummer JT Bates, of Fat Kid Wednesdays, found out he had a COVID infection.

“I am fortunate and grateful to have been vandalized and the situation has been mild for me, but I will remain in quarantine for 10 days,” Bates wrote on Instagram on Tuesday evening.

Instead, his brother Chris Bates will play an early trio followed by the Dave King Trucking Company. The bookers at the club took it a big step: “Life is very much like jazz,” Gershwin said best. It’s best when you improvise,” they wrote.

New Year’s Eve parties at First Avenue, Armory, and Can Wonderland entertainment have been cancelled. In a press release, Can Wonderland shared that while all employees have been vaccinated, some employees have had breakouts, and have decided to proactively close until January 5.

“I’m confident this is the right thing to do now, but rest assured we’re dreaming of a really diverse slate of exciting events for 2022,” said Tony Perella, director of operations, in the statement.

Even outdoor events, which are less likely to transmit COVID, are closing their doors due to the cold. The GLOW Holiday Festival at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds decided to end its run a day early, due to the near-freezing weather forecast. Saturday will be the last day guests can attend.

The Minnesota Orchestra’s weekend parties are still going on—but they’ll look different than planned. Due to delays in obtaining an entry visa due to the emerging Corona virus, Finnish soprano Helena Jontonen, who was scheduled to be the soloist of three songs for composer Jean Sibelius, was unable to travel to Minnesota. Alternatively, violinist Stella Chen will perform the solos.

More cancellations and postponements are expected; It’s best to call before you head off to an event.

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