St. Pete Pride, one of the largest LGBTQIA celebrations in the Southeast, has announced it is postponing this year’s event due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Originally scheduled for June 26-28, the parade and the other weekend festivities have been tentatively pushed back until the fall of this year, though no date exact date has been determined.
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The announcement arrives as St. Petersburg, and the rest of the country, continues to practice social distancing measures.
“We recognize how meaningful our PRIDE celebration is to the LGBTQ community in Tampa Bay,” Chrys Bundy, St Pete Pride board president, said in a statement. “Although we may not be able to physically gather as we normally would this June, our postponement will in no way diminish what it means to be PROUD in St Pete and Tampa Bay.
"We will still find ways to raise our flags of all colors, celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of our community, and spotlight the issues our movement still faces.”
The postponement follows suit with other major Pride events across the nation that have either been canceled or delayed. Last month, Los Angeles announced it is postponing that city's event, while New York’s has been canceled all together.
Organizers for Tampa’s Pride rescheduled for May 30.
City officials have praised organizers of the parade for acting accordingly and taking the necessary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“St Pete Pride recognizes that there is simply too much uncertainty right now to plan an event that draws such large numbers of people from near and far,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman in a statement.
“I appreciate their thinking ahead, and their eagerness to look ahead to a future date that is in the best interest of public health. Our annual parade and festival is one of the best and biggest in the nation and will certainly outlast any challenges that come its way.
"In the interim, we should continue to embrace and celebrate our LGBTQ residents and allies each and every day for their efforts in helping the sun to shine so brightly on us here in St. Pete,” Kriseman said.
Around 200,000 people attended last year’s Pride parade and had an economic impact of about $67 million for St. Petersburg, according to media reports.