Organizers of the Portage la Prairie Potato Festival are pulling the plug on this year's event.

The potato festival has been a staple in Portage for 17 years and this will mark the first time the event has been cancelled since its inception.

Festival co-chair, Cindy McDonald, says safety is a key factor in the decision.

“The festival was supposed to be held on August 7th, to 8th. That’s not going to happen now. The festival will be back on August 13th, and 14th 2021. At this point, most large gatherings are being cancelled, and there’s nothing we can do.”

McDonald knows everyone is understanding of the organizers cancelling the event but says they're going to try to organize a smaller benefit concert.

“What we want to do is have a benefit concert on the 8th (of August.) We’re waiting to have our ducks in a row, but if anything happens, it will be announced next month.”

She says the decision was disappointing considering this year marks Manitoba's 150th birthday.

The Festival hopes to be back with a bang come next year.

“I think 2021 is going to be such a great year. Everyone’s going to come back and be so supportive, it’s going to be awesome. If you can see the positive in all of this, it’s that 2021 is going to be amazing.”