COVID-19 concerns cancel some fall events, others continue with precautions

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 3:06 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The list of events being canceled this fall due to COVID-19 concerns is growing.

“We made a difficult decision,” said James Millner with VA Pride.

VA Pridefest, which averages 40,000 people in attendance, won’t happen at the end of September.

The 2021 Richmond Oktoberfest has also been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Organizers say the main reason why some of these events are being postponed is because of health and safety restrictions, which would take away from the experience.

“We just felt that many people on browns Island even though that’s a fairly large space, it gets very crowded and it makes it very difficult to social distance if people wanted to and the vibe of the festival, pride fest is one in which people really want to come together,” said Millner.

Other events slated to go on as planned including the Chesterfield County Fair, which kicks off Friday evening. The Richmond Folk Festival will continue as planned in early October. The 2nd Street Festival will still unfold the first weekend in October in Richmond’s Jackson Ward.

“Something like a large fair or festival is much more difficult to identify exposure and then to be able to inform people who were there. And so that is something to think about for folks attending events,” said Rebekah Butterfield, COVID-19 Epidemiologist RHHD.

The health department says, if you want to go to an event, here’s what you should look out for.

“Outdoors is always best. We are recommending masking for those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated right now because our community transmission is so high,” said Butterfield. “Just be aware of where you are going and how crowded things are. Maybe aim for times that are a little bit less crowded.”

Meanwhile, VA Pridefest hopes to make a return in June of 2022.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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