Two of Virginia’s major September Pride events have been postponed due to the spread of the COVID Delta Variant. On August 26, Virginia Pride based in Richmond announced they are posting their celebration scheduled for September 25. Today, Hampton Roads Pride followed suit and postponed Pridefest scheduled for September 12.
In a prepared statement, Virginia Pride organizers said, “In the interest of the health and safety of our community, Virginia Pride and Diversity Richmond have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone Pridefest 2021, scheduled for September 25th on Brown’s Island, until next year due to the surge in cases of COVID-19 in Virginia and the Richmond Region.”
Hampton Roads Pride President Rudy Almanzor echoed that concern in an email to the Hampton Roads Pride membership, volunteers, and Pridefest sponsors and vendors today.
“Hampton Roads Pride announces postponement of their 2021 PrideFest at the Scope Arena Plaza on Sunday, September 12, 2021 amid exponential increases in COVID cases across the Hampton Roads region,” he wrote. “The decision was made by leaders of Hampton Roads Pride and the Presenting Partners of the 2021 PrideFest event just days after the release of Virginia Department of Health data showing that Hampton Roads COVID cases account for 26% of Virginia’s recent increase.”
Hampton Roads Pride is contacting vendors, sponsors, and volunteers registered to participate in the 2021 PrideFest event with the option to roll those funds forward to their 2022 celebration or obtain a refund.
Virginia Pride plans to hold smaller events in September where attendance can be limited and proof of vaccinations or masks will be required. President James Milner, said that they are planning to hold the festival in June 2022, which coincides with the national observation of LGBTQ Pride Month. The organization also plans to hold smaller events next month where attendance can be limited and proof of vaccinations or masks will be required.
This is the second year that both events have had to be postponed due to COVID.