NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City has canceled all non-essential events in June, including the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Pride March and the Salute to Israel Parade, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday.
"It's not a happy announcement, but it's one we have to make. And look, a lot of these events will be postponed," he said. "I think the fact that they're postponing now is actually going to help us get to that point later in the year where things can open up and be better."
The mayor said these events where thousands and thousands of people gather in one place goes against everything the city has been doing to try to get back to normal.
Mayor de Blasio said he hoped that the events, including the Pride March which is marking its 50th anniversary, could be postponed.
"We're going to miss all three of them in June. But they will be back. And we will find the right way to do it," he said.
The NYC Pride 2020 roster of events was originally scheduled for June 14-28.
"Pride is a staple in New York City, and is often times a safe space for many," said David A. Correa, Interim Executive Director. "This weighed on our members, board, and staff, knowing that we serve as a haven for vulnerable communities. It was not easy to arrive at the decision to cancel pride as we have come to know it over the years, especially given the financial impact this could have on LGBTQIA+ people and businesses, but our top priority remains the health and well-being of all those that participate with us. "
WABC-TV, which is broadcast partner of Pride, will continue to mark Pride Month in June with a series of specials, stories and a virtual celebration.
"WABC Channel 7 will continue to support Heritage of Pride this year by broadcasting a special NYC Pride programming event in June to all communities across the NYC and tri-state area. This virtual event will shine a light on Pride month and the incredible stories of unity and strength by utilizing the powerful reach of ABC-7, the number one station in the market, and the deep connection we have with our viewers and communities," said Debra O'Connell, WABC-TV President & General Manager.
Aside from the changes in event programming, NYC Pride says it will continue to focus on initiatives like Pride Gives Back. The grant program was created to support LGBTQIA+ organizations from some of the most marginalized communities to develop much-needed programming. The success of WorldPride | Stonewall 50 made it possible to increase the total number of grants awarded this year, NYC Pride said.