Spread of Delta Variant Triggers New Cancellations of Events in NY, NJ

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The ongoing pandemic has triggered more cancellations of big events in the tri-state area as concerns over the highly contagious delta variant reach new heights.

Some quintessential New York summer favorites are in limbo and some large gatherings have been outright canceled. While the impact of rising COVID-19 cases are nowhere near what the region witnessed in summer 2020, thanks to vaccine efficacy, many will be missing out on beloved events for a second year.

The popular West Indian Day Parade has been postponed until next September, organizers said this week. There are still some events planned but much of the Carnival celebrations will take place online. The early morning hours before the parade feature a separate street party known as J'Ouvert, meant as a celebration of freedom from slavery, which has also been scrubbed.

The annual Mermaid Parade on Coney Island in September has been fully canceled.

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"When we set the September date, we hoped that the Parade, the largest art parade in the nation and a point of civic pride for Coney Island, would represent a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not finished with us quite yet," officials said on Facebook and urged supporters to get vaccinated.

When pressed on whether New York City will do about its grand finale to the "Homecoming" concert series in Central Park amid other cancellations, Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed the importance of vaccination and said people can make their own judgments.

"Some organizations have said they want to have their events again, some want to do a modified version, some are postponing it to 2022. There's not one way of doing things," the mayor told reporters Wednesday at his daily news briefing.

Earlier this month, the New York International Auto Show became one of the first casualties of the fast-spreading coronavirus delta variant. Show organizers canceled the event a little over two weeks before the scheduled start.

The auto show was founded in 1900 and is one of the auto industry's most popular conventions with more than 1 million attendees each year. Last year's installment was initially postponed before being canceled, but before that, the show hadn't been postponed or canceled since World War II.

In New Jersey, the 2021 Novo Nordisk Marathon & Half Marathon have been canceled due to "the unknown impact" of the delta variant.

The annual free two-day concert in Maplewood’s Memorial Park, Maplewoodstock, has also been canceled. The event that draws an estimated 7,500+ attendees a year usually happens the weekend after the 4th of July but organizers postponed and then canceled in 2020. This year, they decided to move it to October, but now they say they can’t do it at all because of the risk to unvaccinated kids.

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