BALA — Twenty-six years after they first gathered in large numbers to be shephered through the darkened streets here, Bala’s Trek to Bethlehem is forced to take a sick day.

“It is with deep disappointment that we announce that Bala’s Trek to Bethlehem has been cancelled for 2020,” says a release today.

“This event, with the close family groups and presentations that we feature, cannot meet the provincial criteria with regards to event attendee size and safety.

“The Trek committee is sincerely concerned about providing a safe environment for our guests, and all our volunteers who work so hard to make the Trek to Bethlehem the magical night that it is.

“Our continuing hope is that if conditions are right, we will be back in 2021 to once again

present, in all its glory, the story of Christmas.

“We wish you all a healthy, safe and blessed Christmas 2020 and, God willing, we will see you all in 2021.

Bala’s Trek to Bethlehem has been a Christmas gift from Bala since 1993.

The Trek has been Bala’s gift to the community since 1993.