Updated: May 06, 2021 05:42 PM
Created: May 06, 2021 05:35 PM
(ABC 6 News) - In Albert Lea, restaurants are much closer to the Iowa border, where there have been no severe restrictions since the pandemic began.
"It will be nice to be competitive with Iowa and South Dakota. They've been open since last summer, so it will be fantastic for our customers who want to have the option of wearing the mask or not wearing the mask," Dustin Trail, the general manager of Trail's Travel Center in Albert Lea, said.
Trail said the restrictions forced truck drivers who usually stopped for food to continue on to Iowa instead.
"We couldn't provide metal silverware or a place to sit, so they have to go back and eat in their truck after being in their truck all day," Trail said.
According to Trail, restaurants in Iowa are doing alright.
"They are up well beyond what they see normally, meanwhile our restaurant is down half. We would have been better had we just shutdown," Trail said.
Trail's Travel Center wasn't the only one hurting last year. In Peterson, the town had to cancel the annual Scandinavian midsummer celebration called Gammel Dag, but this year, the show will go on.
"We began it because the town began as almost 100 percent Norwegian," one of the event organizers, Gail Barnard-Boyum, said.
Boyum said the whole celebration was contingent on Covid restrictions this summer because much of the event is interactive.
"We hope that more people will feel comfortable coming, and its a very important year for us," Boyum said.
She said the money raised this year will go toward a new addition to the town's museum.
"We wondered if we would have to cancel again this year, but it feels so good to be able to move forward and tell all of these artists we've contacted," Boyum said.
Peterson's Gammel Dag will be on June 26 this summer.
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