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Annual NH sled dog derby canceled over coronavirus concerns

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Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 11:22 AM EST
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - An annual sled dog race in New Hampshire that usually attracts hundreds of people has been canceled this year because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby had been scheduled for Feb. 12-14.

“Everywhere we turned we couldn’t make it work because of COVID,” Jim Lyman, president of the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club, told The Laconia Daily Sun on Friday.

Lyman said that social distancing restrictions would have prohibited the traditional spectator viewing areas.

Another obstacle was the continued closure of the U.S.-Canada border to non-essential traffic, Lyman said. Between half and two-thirds of the mushers who compete in the open-class events at the derby come from Quebec.

The derby dates to 1929. Since the early 1980s it has been canceled 13 times because of poor snow conditions.

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