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Cold Blast Moving Into Minnesota Impacts Weekend Activities, Businesses

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Loppet Foundation made a quick schedule change to their largest fundraising event of the year, the Luminary Loppet. The outdoor glowing ice sculpture walk at Theodore Wirth Park is now happening Thursday and Friday nights, instead of Saturday and Sunday.

While snow and ice thrive in below zero temperatures, humans don't and executive director Claire Wilson wanted to make sure staff and ticket holders were safe.

RELATED: Luminary Loppet Nights Moved Up Due To Frigid Weekend Forecast

"Negative 15 is cold. It is not a safe temperature for humanity," said Wilson. "With COVID, we can't keep our volunteers and our participants safe in the cold. We can't have fire pits or warming tents or serve hot chocolate."

Over at Twin Spirits Distillery in northeast Minneapolis, they've used bonfires and heated green houses to serve customers this winter safely. However, owner Michelle Winchester made the decision to close on Sunday, as it's expected to be the coldest of the two weekend days.

"I think that people would be OK in the greenhouses, I was more concerned about my staff and how that would feel to them delivering drinks," said Winchester. "That seemed too cold."

WATCH MORE: Pandemic Changing How We Deal With Subzero Temps

She says they may close Saturday, too, if reservations start to cancel.

"I think I've only had four cancellations," said Winchester. "So far, so good."

The two-week long Snowflake Days in Coon Rapids kicked off last weekend and included a popular community parade on Tuesday. The city and committee made the decision to cancel their second parade scheduled for Thursday night since the temperature has already started to drop.

"It was really tough, we didn't want to do it. We're sad, we're honestly sad that we had to cancel it," said Stephanie Ring with the City of Coon Rapids. "Frankly, it comes down to safety for anyone in the parade and the public."

Luminary Loppet is already a sold-out event. Ticket holders can come Thursday or Friday - it doesn't matter, but you have to come during your scheduled time slot, so they can monitor crowd control.

Snowflake days has more events happening next week that you can participate it once this cold blast is over. To see the full schedule of events, click here.

The Hudson Hot Air Affair says the Balloon Glow/Candlestick Event may be canceled due to the cold temperatures. They are making a final decision by Thursday night. Track their website and social media pages for a final decision about the Glow.

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