RICHMOND Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Pride announced Tuesday afternoon it will not be holding its annual PrideFest in late September due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This will be the second time in 40 years Richmond has not had an annual pride event.
“We know this will be disappointing to our LGBTQ community and our allies. But, we are resilient. We will not let this steal our pride,” said James Millner, President of Virginia Pride
The organization said they canceled the festival due to uncertainty on how the COVID-19 pandemic would develop in the coming months. With more than 40,000 attendees, organizers said they felt it would be better to er on the side of caution.
“Our first and foremost concern is for the health and safety of our community,” Millner said. “While there was some hope that restrictions on larger outdoor events would have eased by September, we could not, in good conscience, hold an event that put anyone at risk.”
Virginia Pride added they couldn’t make the event smaller because Brown’s Island, where the event is held, is a park with multiple entrances, and controlling access to the event would have been nearly impossible.
However, the group said they have formed a committee to look at exploring more virtual programming for the rest of the year and were open to the idea of having other smaller, in-person events when it’s safe to gather again