The association announced the festival’s cancellation April 30, which made it one of the first of several large events in the city to be canceled.
“I thought, you know, the sooner, the better,” 2020 HBA Chair Shelley Bujnoch said. “We'll just hope and pray that next year, we're just going to come back bigger and better.”
Bujnoch has been involved in planning the annual event since it began in 2015. She said the festival has become an important part of the New Braunfels community and regularly attracts visitors from around the state.
“It's exciting to see how people have taken to what we bring to our community,” Bujnoch said. “Like other traditions here in town, I think it's important that [celebrations] are embraced because at the end of the day, there's this true meaning to why things are celebrated. And for our festival, that meaning is celebrating those that are no longer here.”
In lieu of the annual parade and street festival, the HBA elected to host two smaller events. The first is a virtual painting party hosted by Painting With a Twist on Oct. 18. For the other, the HBA will partner with Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theatre to show the Disney film "Coco" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1.
“We still needed to do something that was safe. We still wanted to create the remembrance of the of Día de los Muertos,” Bujnoch said. “There's no color; there's no denomination; there's no political view when it comes to losing somebody, and everybody has been touched by the loss of a loved one. And so I think that's what makes it so important to be able to continue that tradition.”
Tickets for the film screening are available online, and 50% of all ticket sales will benefit the HBA to help provide scholarships to local high school seniors.