Coronavirus

New York City Cancels All In-Person Pride Events Amid Coronavirus Concerns

NYC pride parade
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File

Revelers carry a Rainbow Flag along Fifth Avenue during the New York City Pride Parade on June 24, 2018.

As the threat of coronavirus continues to bring the world to a standstill, many major events around the globe have already been canceled to prevent the further spread of the disease. Now, one of the largest LGBTQ festivals in the world has decided to shut down for the year.

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all permits for large events in the month of June had officially been canceled by the city, meaning the shutdown of all in-person NYC Pride events for the first time in the festival's history.

“New York City is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. We’ve come a long way since the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March 50 years ago, which is a testament to the bravery and resiliency of LGBTIA+ New Yorkers in the struggle for equality,” de Blasio said in a statement released with the news. “While this pandemic prevents us from coming together to march, it will in no way stop us from celebrating the indelible contributions that the LGBTIA+ community has made to New York City or from recommitting ourselves to the fight for equal rights.”

One of the many Pride events included in the cancellation is Pride Island, the annual music festival held at Pier 97 in Manhattan. This year's festival had already announced Janelle Monáe as the headliner, with supporting performances from artists like Betty Who, Pussy Riot and more.

"As the days have passed, it has become more and more clear that even with a decline in the spread of COVID-19, large-scale events such as ours are unlikely to happen in the near future,” NYC Pride co-chair Maryanne Roberto Fine said in a statement. “We understand that we need to reimagine NYC Pride events - and have already begun to do just that."

Some programming, however, will still continue, including a WABC-TV broadcast special aimed at "[shining] a light on Pride month and the incredible stories of unity and strength" in the LGBTQ community. Additionally, charity initiatives like Pride Gives Back, which offers yearly grants to LGBTQ organizations in need, will continue as planned.

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