Breaking News
More () »

COVID spread, toxic algae shuts down popular Denver Dragon Boat Festival

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has been canceled for 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns and the recent blue-algae bloom found at Sloan's Lake.

DENVER — The 2021 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has been canceled. 

The festival's directors made the decision to cancel the event this year because of the increasing spread of the delta variant and the blue-green algae bloom at Sloan’s Lake.

"After weighing the health and safety of our community, volunteers, dragon boaters, and performers (many of whom are children under the age of 12 and/or family members)," reads the press release, "and also considering the current closure of Sloan’s Lake due to the health risks posed by a blue-green algae bloom, we have decided that the most prudent decision is to cancel."

RELATED: Sloan's Lake is closed because of a bacteria that could be toxic to pets

Sloan's Lake closed in July after the water tested positive for toxic algae.

According to the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, blue-green algae is poisonous to dogs, cats, wildlife and other animals when it is drank or licked off fur. It can cause neurological problems and liver failure, which can lead to death. It's also poisonous to humans. 

For the past 21 years, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has brought people together to experience, celebrate and enjoy dragon boat racing, culture, arts and entertainment, and food. 

>WATCH: The video above shows the 2020 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan's Lake

"This decision was not made lightly and we hope to bring our annual celebration of Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander heritage back in 2022," says the press release.

The event was originally scheduled for July but it was rescheduled January to take place on September 25-26 hoping that by the fall, there would be a resolution to the public health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Latest COVID-19 numbers: Current hospitalizations top 800 for first time since January

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado’s History