Charlotte, NC – Most people around the globe agree the COVID-19 pandemic pretty much cancelled all of 2020. In Charlotte, the city’s annual Pride events were cancelled, resulting in a loss of an estimated $3 million in revenue for the city of Charlotte, as well as hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. This year, Pride organizers are moving forward with plans for the annual celebration, although all events have been pushed back to a later date. As of August 23, all Charlotte Pride events originally scheduled for late August and continuing through September 18 have been postponed until October, 2021. Because of the Delta variant and increased rates of COVID-19 infections, Charlotte Pride will require all attendees at October’s indoor events to wear a mask and bring proof of a full COVID-19 vaccine. No unvaccinated individuals may participate. Across the United States, the Delta variant of COVID-19 began sweeping through the nation in late June 2021, causing restaurants, night clubs, concert halls and schools to shut down anew. What is now being referred to as the “fourth wave” of the continuing pandemic has resulted in cancellations and delays everywhere.

“We are hopeful this postponement will encourage all members of our community and our allies to take the initiative to get fully vaccinated and do their part to protect our community,” says Daniel Valdez, President of Charlotte Pride, “Higher vaccination rates, lower positivity rates and decreased community spread are essential for hosting our events at any point in 2021. We’re calling on every member of our community do their part — get vaccinated, wear masks, get tested.”

Looking at other cities, Greensboro Pride announced the decision to cancel their 2021 festival due to an increase in COVID-19 Delta Variant cases. There are other festival cancellations, among them, Hendersonville Pride, Winston-Salem Pride and Eastern North Carolina Pride. Blue Ridge Pride, which was expected to take place in Asheville on September 25, announced its cancellation on August 31. In a press statement, the organization’s leadership team said that “a Pride festival, under current conditions, runs counter to the event’s core mission.” Atlanta Pride, the largest Pride event in Georgia and the southeast, announced August 25 they will be canceling all events for the second year in a row because of the rising COVID-19 infection rates. Austin, Texas has announced all events as postponed, but no new dates have yet to be confirmed. Pride Houston is cancelled for 2021. The organization has confirmed that all large events will not return until 2022. Instead, Pride Houston will be hosting a block party October 2, with a maximum of 5,000 participants. (Q Notes – Julianna Perez at https://qnotescarolinas.com/charlotte-pride-postpones-amidst-fourth-covid-19-wave/)

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