(ATLANTA, Ga.) While many anticipated events in Atlanta have made a comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic, one major event has decided to remain digital for the second year in a row.
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, Atlanta Pride announced the cancellation of its in-person festivities for 2021. The first cancellation happened last year when COVID-19 first began.
Thousands of LGBTQ+ community members and allies travel into the city yearly to enjoy the festival, performances, celebrity appearances, vendors and the Pride parade each year.
Officials with the Atlanta Pride Committee announced on Facebook Wednesday that the 2021 Pride Festival and Parade, scheduled to be held in Midtown and Piedmont Park in October, will be completely digital.
Officials say the decision to remain virtual was made after speaking with the community's public health officials. "While this is a painful decision to make, we know that this will help us protect the community we care so much about - and we can all look forward to being together in the future when it is safer for everyone," the Atlanta Pride Committee said on Facebook.
In 2020, the festival and parade had all their in-person events canceled, with the focus turning to virtual events when Atlanta Pride was scheduled to happen.
The organization took a survey amongst past attendees and collected the following data before announcing the cancellation:
- More than 40% said that they were unsure about their plans to attend because of COVID concerns.
- Only 7.5% said that they were comfortable attending the events as they're normally held without extra COVID-19 mitigations.
- 46% percent want us to require proof of vaccination status, 23% think we should limit Festival and Parade attendance and 28% think we should require masks outdoors - none of which are feasible for the event at this time.
- 42% said we should resume large events when the CDC says it's safe.
- 31% said we should not hold large events until Atlanta is in the moderate category for COVID-19 spread.
- Only 13% said we should go ahead no matter what.
The announcement was posted on the official Instagram page with the caption stating, "The Atlanta Pride Committee is dedicated to preserving our past and caring for our future. With that in mind, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the need to cancel our in-person festival events and parade for 2021. This decision was made with great consideration and the input of our community's leading public health officials. While this is a painful decision to make, we know that this will help us protect the community we care so much about - and we can all look forward to being together in the future when it is safer for everyone. For 2021, we will remain committed to "Caring For The Future."
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