FARGO — The annual Xcel Energy Holiday Lights Parade is "on pause" this year to protect the health and safety of attendees during the pandemic.

Organizers announced Thursday, Oct. 22, that the event, considered a kickoff to the holidays in Fargo-Moorhead for more than a decade, will no longer go on this year. The decision was made by the Downtown Community Partnership in conjunction with the key sponsor, Xcel Energy.

Instead, the DCP said it will plan COVID-19-safe activities.

"The pandemic and economic crisis have reshaped nearly every aspect of our lives, but we still wanted to create a way for our community to safely enjoy Downtown Fargo this holiday season," DCP President and CEO Melissa Brandt said in a written statement. "We are working diligently on several shopping and experience opportunities that will safely accommodate our customers and visitors amidst the coronavirus pandemic."

One of those efforts will be the Downtown Holiday Headquarters, 109 Broadway N., which "will be a festive spot for product pickup, gift wrapping, gift card purchases, and photo opportunities to inspire new holiday traditions and more," according to the news release.

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More holiday shopping and entertainment options will be announced on downtownfargo.com/holidays.