NY's Parades and Early Summer Events Postponed, Canceled Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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Quintessential New York summer favorites are in limbo as the region continues to grapple with the deadly coronavirus pandemic. However, some well-known and beloved events have already announced their postponement or outright cancelation for summer 2020.

The NYC Pride March has been canceled for the first time in a half-century, along with all in-person events leading up to the annual June event, which draws millions of participants and revelers every year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

“This probably will not surprise you,” De Blasio said, before announcing the cancellation of June's Celebrate Israel, Puerto Rican Day and LGBTQ pride parades. The Puerto Rico and Israel parades are also touchstones in a city that has the largest Jewish population outside Israel and the biggest Puerto Rican community off the island.

De Blasio went one step further and canceled all non-essential permitted events through June, including parades, concerts, rallies, and large gatherings.

"We can't plan for summer now," he said on Thursday after unveiling the budget plan for fiscal year 2021, which includes the closing of all outdoor pools for the 2020 season as well as the suspension of 1,000 summer camp slots run by the Parks Department for the 2020 season.

He also mentioned that New Yorkers should keep expectations "low for now" as far as summer as usual in the city, including beaches, sporting events and public gatherings.

Below are some well-known and beloved New York events that have already announced their postponement or outright cancelation for summer 2020.


The 63rd Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade was scheduled for June 14. The Parade brings together millions of people each year in the heart of Manhattan with the participation of officials and celebrity personalities representatives of Puerto Rico.

The organization had already announced on its page that it was collaborating with the authorities of New York City and the state to review what steps to take due to COVID-19 in the area.

For its part, the scholarship program is still in place and funds will be awarded to students in the community.


Heritage of Pride says its events previously scheduled in New York City between June 14-28 "will not take place as planned."

"It was not easy to arrive at the decision to cancel pride as we have come to know it over the years, especially given the financial impact this could have on LGBTQIA+ people and businesses, but our top priority remains the health and well-being of all those that participate with us," Interim Executive Director David A. Correa said in a release.

Mayor de Blasio says Pride events could be rescheduled for the fall.


The Celebrate Israel Parade was scheduled for June 7. Past parades featured over 40,000 marchers from many organizations. Spectators watch American and Israeli community leaders, dignitaries, entertainers, celebrities, floats and marching bands participate in the event. 

The Parade has also welcomed the annual participation from the Prime Minister of Israel and a delegation of Members of Knesset, and other Israeli dignitaries.  New York’s Governor, the Mayor of New York City, U.S. Senators, Congressional Representatives, Members of the State Senate, Assembly and City Council also participate each year.


The Public Theater announced Friday that it was canceling the popular and free Shakespeare in the Park.

"This year, we must stand together in keeping our city and each other safe. This means our summer season of Free Shakespeare in the Park will not be possible, and we must cancel our planned productions of RICHARD II and Public Work's AS YOU LIKE IT. We must also suspend our remaining season of programs and events at our flagship home at Astor Place through August 31," The Public's artistic director and executive director said in a joint press release.

According to the organization, it will bear financial losses and reductions in its staffing during these trying times.


On Friday, the organizers of Long Island Pride announced the postponement of the annual Long Island Pride Parade scheduled for Sunday, June 14 at Jones Beach due to the coronavirus.

"As we all are well aware, we are living in unprecedented times. There are things we don’t know about the coronavirus and things we do know. One of those things we do know is that social distancing and staying home is saving lives…and that is the most important piece of knowledge we can hold onto at this time," David Kilmnick, President/CEO of the LGBT Network, which organizes the parade, said in a statement.

However, Kilmnick goes on to say that a virtual celebration is in the works.

"We also believe that being at home does not mean we cannot be OUT. A virtual Long Island Pride celebration and details will be announced soon for the original scheduled date of Sunday, June 14. Our community has always been resilient and strong and has always persevered and I have no doubt that this incredible strength will carry us through together as a family,” his statement went on to say.


The 50th edition of Lincoln Center Out of Doors, which brings free performances to the Lincoln Center plaza, has been canceled.

"Given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this summer’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts programming, including Midsummer Night Swing, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. These festivals have brought great joy to New Yorkers for decades, in ways only extraordinary, fearless artistry can," Lincoln Center said in a statement.

"It is our intention, when it is safe again to gather in-person, to stage a free pop-up festival in a celebration of our great city, and the selfless first responders and healthcare workers who are giving so much during this crisis," the statement continued.

However, Lincoln Center said it continues to bring the arts to the masses.

"Currently, and for the foreseeable future, we’re taking our work online with Lincoln Center at Home, our new portal helping families and communities keep the performing arts front and center."

All city pools closed. The possibility of not opening up beaches or holding mass gatherings. Summer 2020 in New York City could be different than any other in the past.
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