For the second year in a row the annual H-E-B Central Market Plano Balloon Festival has been cancelled due to concerns related to COVID-19, according to a statement from Jo Via, executive director of the H-E-B Central Market Plano Balloon Festival.

The hot-air balloon festival, originally planned for Sept. 17-19, has been a prominent fixture in North Texas for more than four decades.

The festival, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic, was also called off in 2018 because of flooding concerns.

“The festival board and staff has considered the health and safety of our festival pilots, attendees, volunteers, sponsors and vendors our top priority,” Via wrote in her statement. “In making this difficult decision, we are mindful of the extremely large number of families that attend the event, the majority of which have children under 12 years of age.”

Via specifically referenced concerns about the delta variant in her statement.

As of Aug. 16, Collin County had an estimated 3,400 active COVID-19 cases, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 dashboard.

Via said the Plano Balloon Festival plans to return in 2022.