Augusta Pride celebration cancelled for 2020 due to coronavirus

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AUGUSTA (WJBF) – The president of Augusta Pride has decided to cancel the Pride Celebration scheduled for June.

James Mintz spoke with NewsChannel 6 and said “it was a hard decision, but it had to be done.”

Here’s the statement from the Augusta Pride website:

Our board has made the decision to cancel our planned Festival for June 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns. Health experts continue to advise staying at home when possible and avoiding large gatherings for the time being, especially for older individuals or those with health issues. We want to make sure that we can gather without harm and celebrate safely, but in June 2021 where we can prepare a little longer for our new normal.

Why did you cancel when we don’t know what June will be like?

Pride is a year round operation that requires coordination of multiple support mechanisms – insurance, entertainment, security, and logistics – to fully launch. Since many of those companies and groups are idled or working below full capacity, Pride cannot be confident that support needed to hold the level of Festival we know you deserve is possible, thus we will try again next year to hopefully better results. We’re hopeful that health and economic conditions will improve throughout the summer, but could not guarantee it would improve before we held our Festival.

Why not just move the festival to the fall?

Augusta Pride has both historical and logistical reasons for the last weekend in June as our festival. The historical reason is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that started the Gay Rights Movement in 1969. The logistical reasons are many. While often hot, June is the least rainy month of the year – essential for an outdoor festival. More importantly, September and October compete with other events not only for the Common, but support from both sponsors and visitors that reduce our ability to maintain the revenue needed to keep Pride going. We also would compete against other large Prides, notably Atlanta and SC, which reduces out-of-town visitors and makes it difficult for some sponsors to attend all events. So June 2021, here we come!

What if we are a vendor or sponsor that has already donated or paid or application fee?

We are reaching out to each of you in the next few days, using the email provided to us after your sponsorship donation or vendor fee application. We plan on returning in June 2021 and would prefer to hold your spot for next year. Please contact our vendor coordinator at vendor@prideaugusta.org or VIP coordinator at VIP@prideaugusta.org for further updates. You’ve helped us become one of the largest Festivals in the CSRA and want you to keep joining us each year to celebrate and show your Pride.

Thank You!

We thank you all for your past support of our Festival. Last year, we had our largest Festival event yet and had hoped to keep the energy and excitement going this year. While we’re having a brief interruption, we know we’ll come back again together. Until then, please stay safe and healthy and Love Still Wins!

Augusta Pride

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