RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Organizers announced that VA Pridefest, which was scheduled for Sept. 25, has been postponed until next year due to concerns about the surge of COVID-19 cases.
The celebration on Brown’s Island is one of the region’s largest outdoor festivals, attracting tens of thousands of attendees and more than 100 vendors.
“After consulting with our many corporate sponsors, organizational partners and volunteers we have decided it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our community to postpone VA Pridefest 2021 until next year,” said James Millner, program director of Diversity Richmond.
“Postponing Pridefest is the right thing to do under the circumstances,” said Louise “Cheezi” Farmer, co-founder of Black Pride RVA. “I know I speak not just for Black Pride RVA, but for other LGBTQ and allied organizations when I say that we are grateful to the volunteers and leadership of Virginia Pride for putting the health and safety of our community first.”
Millner said they are planning to hold the festival in June 2022, which coincides with the national observation of LGBTQ Pride Month.
“We know this is not the outcome that we, nor anyone in our community, had hoped or planned for, but we are also firm in our conviction that is absolutely the right thing to do,” Millner said.
Virginia Pride and Diversity Richmond started planning for an in-person festival in June when most restrictions on events were lifted and they believed the COVID-19 pandemic was waning. The announcement said the decision to postpone was taken seriously and supported by its partners.
Virginia Pride plans to hold smaller events in September where attendance can be limited and proof of vaccinations or masks will be required.