WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A North Country winter tradition won’t be happening in 2022.

On December 29, the Snowtown USA Committee announced that it has canceled its 2022 celebration. According to the Committee, this is due to the recently increasing COVID-19 rates in Jefferson County and surrounding areas.

“The committee made the decision out of an abundance of caution, particularly in response to the increasing rates of viral transmission,” Snowtown USA Committee Members said in a press release. “While cancellation of our 2022 event is disappointing, we feel it is necessary to do our part to keep our community safe.”

The festival was also canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 and high rates of infection in the North Country region.

Snowtown USA historically has been an annual event involving a wide range of winter events and activities centered around the celebration of snow. This has previously included the Snowtown Film Festival.

The event first got its name following the Blizzard of ’77 when former CBS Evening News Anchor Walter Conkite coined the phrase “Snowtown USA.” The event was organized a few years following the Blizzard.

The 2022 Snowtown USA Festival was scheduled to take place on January 14, 2022.