As the coronavirus epidemic increases worldwide, so does the number of cancelations of major events in the music, film, television, and sports worlds. The amount of events canceled in the U.S. due to coronavirus is that practically by the minute due to the possibility of exposure at large gatherings. Big festivals such as South by Southwest have already been forced to cancel, and many believe that it will be just the beginning of many delays and cancellations.
According to the World Health Organization, as of March 7, the sum of COVID-19 infections worldwide has reached 100,000, with more than 3,000 people dying from the disease, mainly in Mainland China where this particular strain of coronavirus originated. According to a March 9 article by The New York Times, more than 90 countries have reported cases, with the US reporting more than 500 cases alone.
Full Spectrum Community Outreach announced Friday that the coronavirus outbreak would cause their Pride in the Valley festival to be canceled this year:
The board of directors of the center issued the following statement about the cancelation: this year we declare that Pride in the Valley will be effectively canceled with a heavy heart, ample caution, and consideration for our attendees and vendors.
We’ve taken the time to see if it was a viable choice later in the season but since March we haven’t seen the requisite increase in vendors or sponsors. We are also not anticipating a big influx because of the economic problems that this crisis has created. This, combined with the uncertainty of when big gatherings will be truly free, makes it difficult this year to offer a Pride worthy of the people in our community.
We will turn our attention toward planning a bigger and better festival for all of you next summer! This coming week we will contact those who have already registered to be a vendor, volunteer, sponsor, participant in the parade, and/or entertainer directly.
Since the festival is the biggest fundraiser for the group, they are calling for business and public support to help sustain the LGBTQIA+ resource center for the Mahoning Valley.