New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that permits for June events—including parades, concerts, rallies, and large gatherings in the city—have been canceled in light of the ongoing public health crisis caused by COVID-19. The decision impacts the 2020 Pride parade and other NYC Pride celebrations, Puerto Rican Day and Salute to Israel parades, among others.
"A lot of these events are postponed," de Blasio shared in an April 20 briefing. "Permits are canceled for June, but a lot of the event organizers are looking at doing something later in the year, and we're going to work with them on that... The bottom line is to think about safety, saving lives, and protecting people's health."
NYC Pride, which celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community in New York City and globally, was set to run June 14–28 this year. Featuring over 50 events including rallies, parties, and lectures, Pride culminates in the famous NYC Pride March on the last Sunday of the month. Following last year's 50th anniversary celebration of the Stonewall Riots, the 2020 Pride March was set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
NYC Pride is organized by Heritage of Pride, which has worked closely with the City of New York to arrive at the decision to cancel the NYC Pride 2020 roster of events.
"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,” said Maryanne Roberto Fine, NYC Pride Co-Chair. “We understand that we need to re-imagine NYC Pride events and have already begun to do just that."
One such example is the upcoming April 23 live stream concert featuring Cyndi Lauper, Todrick Hall, Alan Cumming, and Shoshana Bean, among others, that will benefit the LGBTQ+ nightlife industry directly impacted by COVID-19. Hosted by Michelle Visage and Tyler Oakley, the concert will be presented by World of Wonder Productions and The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative, and will be available on YouTube at 8 PM ET.
While live programming and events are postponed, NYC Pride will continue to focus on initiatives like Pride Gives Back, a grant program that was created to support LGBTQIA+ organizations from some of the most marginalized communities to develop much-needed programming.