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Travel News Sapporo Snow Festival cancelled

thomas

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The Sapporo Snow Festival scheduled to take place in February 2021 has been cancelled. This is the first cancellation since the festival started in 1950.

The annual Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the country’s biggest winter events held in Hokkaido around February, will be canceled for the first time since its inception in 1950 amid a surge in novel coronavirus infections, its organizers said Monday. The festival, which usually features large snow and ice statues in the city center, will instead focus on disseminating online historical information about the event as well as the city’s winter charms. The boulevard currently decorated with Christmas lights will be lit up for an extended period of time, according to the organizers. “It’s a shame, but it’s an unavoidable (decision) in light of the situation,” they said. The celebrated event, which normally sees around 2 million domestic and overseas visitors every year, generates approximately ¥65 billion ($625 million).


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nahadef

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Quite frankly, the small circle I chat with was shocked it went on as usual last year. We already knew there was a virus centered in China, and a large percentage of visitors are from China. It was the first year my family didn't go.

In the end, there were only a few cases, at least one with volunteer staff.

I think we can wait a year to enjoy it without any fear.
 

mdchachi

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In the end, there were only a few cases, at least one with volunteer staff.
I thought Hokkaido was the first hot spot and the tourism due to the snow festival was thought to be the cause, wasn't it?
 

nahadef

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Yes, but it wasn't from the Snow Festival. It was outside Sapporo at first; bus tours carrying thousands of Chinese tourists around the island to scenic spots.
 

mdchachi

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Yes, but it wasn't from the Snow Festival. It was outside Sapporo at first; bus tours carrying thousands of Chinese tourists around the island to scenic spots.
But they probably wouldn't have been there touring Hokkaido if there wasn't a snow festival going on.
 

nahadef

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That's hard to say, the Chinese tourists were a pretty relentless thing in Hokkaido. There's a bump in February, but it's a year round thing. I'm not saying the people who brought Corona to Hokkaido weren't here for the festival, but I don't think it's a given.
 
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thomas

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No surprise here, the festival was cancelled in 2021, too.

sapporo-snow-festival-2020.jpg

The Sapporo Snow Festival was last held in February 2020.

The exhibition had been scheduled to take place from Feb. 5 to 12. Its executive committee, which is made up of the Sapporo Municipal Government and other bodies, decided to cancel the ice sculpture displays out of consideration for the spread of infections caused by the coronavirus's omicron variant. Instead, organizers intend to have the ice sculptures created in a separate, undisclosed location and stream online a video of them and how they are produced. In September 2021, the Sapporo Snow Festival's executive committee stated that it wanted to "host an event with content consistent with a time of living with the coronavirus." The committee announced it would not display the event's signature huge ice sculptures in the city's centrally located Odori Park, and would hold a scaled-down exhibition. But for the last two years it has been left with no choice but to effectively cancel the event. The Sapporo Snow Festival began in 1950, and in a normal year receives over 2 million visitors from in and out of Japan. The 2020 edition saw a stream of attendees contract the coronavirus, and it was criticized as "a factor in the virus's spread."

 
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