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Coffin Races at the Day of the Dead Festival on Oct. 26, 2019 in Denton.

Denton's Day of the Dead Festival has canceled the 2020 event amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced this week. 

The free downtown Denton festival features vendors, food, music, a costume contest and a parade. The most popular part of the festival — the coffin races —pack thousands along East Hickory Street.

Festival founder and director David Pierce said the original Halloween musical that launched the street fest, Cirque du Horror, was also canceled.

The festival website said the event leadership decided not to risk the health of attendees, vendors and volunteers.

"Given the small footprint of our festival, we worry about the ability to maintain adequate social distancing," Pierce said. "Though a difficult decision, we feel like this is the responsible one to make, and we are setting our sights towards 2021, and making it the best festival year ever."

Denton's Day of the Dead was scheduled for Oct. 24.

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC. She is a board member with the Day of the Dead Festival.


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