Mayor de Blasio Casts Doubt on June Pride March

Mayor Bill de Blasio cast doubt on the likelihood of the city holding its annual LGBTQ Pride March on June 28 or of other parades moving forward that month, saying at his daily coronavirus press conference on April 17 that he “can’t see” such large events happening in the midst of the pandemic but intends to make a formal decision “quickly.”

The de Blasio administration will hold discussions with organizers to determine a path forward for the looming festivities. While the city’s Pride March is one of the largest annual events in the nation, it is hardly the only parade on tap for June in the Big Apple: Among others include the Celebrate Israel Parade slated for June 7 and the Puerto Rican Day Parade the following weekend on June 14. Also hanging in the balance are many smaller Pride celebrations across the five boroughs.

Administration to discuss plans with organizers; Heritage of Pride says update to come soon

“We’re talking to organizers,” de Blasio said of the main parades slated for June. “I’ll come back soon with an update for all of you.”

The mayor already announced the cancelation of non-essential events in May. In another clear sign that Pride and other festivities are in doubt, the mayor went on to say that “a real high bar” has been set for justifying such events.

“Can I envision as early as June mass gatherings, like some of these huge events? I can’t see it,” de Blasio said. “But I want to talk to the event organizers. I want my team to talk to them. I want to see what they’re feeling.”

The mayor’s comments came one day after Gay City News reported that there is much uncertainty surrounding New York City Pride plans in 2020. Heritage of Pride (HOP), which organizes the city’s massive Pride March and related events throughout June, had posted on March 13 that it would “monitor the situation in New York closely,”  with its website showing the original schedule for all its events, including the march on the last Sunday in June.

Asked about de Blasio’s statement today, HOP’s communications director,  Claudia Garib, in an email message, wrote, “We are continuing to work with our stakeholders in order to release updates to the community. We should have more information soon.”

Other cities moved quickly to postpone or cancel Pride festivities for the year, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

HOP did not return a request for comment following de Blasio’s press conference.

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