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Charlotte Pride Cancels 2021 Parade, Scales Down In-Person Events Due To COVID

Charlotte Pride is calling off its annual parade for the second year in a row due to COVID-19. Organizers said Monday that the parade, set for Oct. 24, was being canceled and that other large, in-person events for the Charlotte Pride Festival were being scaled back.

“We were so sad that we could not gather in 2020 for our traditional festival and parade, and we had high, high hopes that we could make some kind of large, in-person celebration happen for our community this year,” Charlotte Pride Vice President Clark Simon said in a video posted to the organization’s website. “... In the last four weeks, though, we’ve been paying very close attention to the data. It hasn’t looked good.”

Vaccination rates, positive infection rates and levels of community spread of COVID “are not where they need to be” for organizers to feel comfortable putting on big events, Simon said.

As of Monday, about 10% of COVID-19 tests were coming back positive across the state and more than 3,300 people were hospitalized for the virus, according to North Carolina Health and Human Services. About 63% of adults in the state are fully vaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic, at least 15,700 deaths in North Carolina have been attributed to the virus.

All large events are being changed to either virtual or smaller, in-person gatherings, Charlotte Pride President Daniel Valdez said. Examples of smaller events include pop-up shops and a scavenger hunt in Plaza Midwood, a live-streamed drag pageant and streamed three-hour tribute.

Charlotte Pride’s website has a full list of events.

Charlotte Pride had already changed plans because of COVID-19 in 2021, moving events planned for August and September to October.

Copyright 2021 WFAE

Dash joined WFAE as a digital editor for news and engagement in 2019. Before that, he was a reporter for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia and the Gaston Gazette in Gastonia.