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San Francisco Pride parade canceled on 50th anniversary due to COVID-19 concerns

San Francisco Pride parade canceled on 50th anniversary due to COVID-19 concerns

The directors of San Francisco Pride announced Tuesday that the organization was canceling its annual parade in the city due to fears of coronavirus.

In a news release, parade organizers wrote that the decision to cancel this year's event, which marks its 50th anniversary in the city, was not taken lightly.

"Uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified in recent weeks, and the organization has concluded that the risks to public health of a large-scale gathering such as Pride preclude this year’s production of the annual event," organizers wrote, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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“This was not a decision we arrived at lightly,” San Francisco Pride Executive Director Fred Lopez added. “Far from it: Our staff has been in frequent talks with our board, our production team, our partners at many departments of City Hall, officials at other Pride organizations worldwide — and most of all, our LGBTQ communities."

The organizers added they are seeking alternative ways to celebrate Pride's 50th anniversary absent an in-person celebration.

“We know our decision means disappointment, canceled plans, and one less thing for us all to look forward to. We also know that protecting the safety of all our communities is the most important. We look forward to gathering with all of you, our friends and our families and our allies. In the meantime, SF Pride will offer new and creative ways to commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride," said the organization's board president, Carolyn Wysinger.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D) praised the organizers' decision in a statement attached to the release, writing that canceling the event was "the right — albeit very tough — decision."

“I have no doubt that SF Pride will put together a terrific slate of virtual events for this year’s celebration," he added. "Pride is my favorite part of every year, and though it’s disappointing that we can’t be together in person, we will find creative ways to uplift and celebrate the LGBTQ community.”