BATESVILLE — A staple of September is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce issued a press release on Sept. 2 stating that the 77th White River Water Carnival has been canceled for 2020.

“Due to health and safety concerns, the long-running festival scheduled for September 2020 will not take place this year,” Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce officials announced.

“With an abundance of caution around public health concerns for spread of COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel the event that has been a staple of the community for many years,” said Crystal Johnson, President/CEO of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

But Johnson did provide a glimmer of hope for the near future.

“Moving forward, we are exploring a partnership with the City of Batesville and plan to lend support and add additional attractions to White River Wonderland,” Johnson said. “Festivals are an important piece to community and economic development by creating a source of community pride as well as boosting tourism. We feel confident in offering a safe event alternative this December following state and local guidelines to ensure the safety of our community.”

White River Wonderland lighting ceremony is scheduled Nov. 25, and lights will be on through Jan. 4. The Kiwanis Christmas Parade is scheduled Dec. 5. Water Carnival floats and participants are encouraged to participate in the Christmas Parade.