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Chicago Pride Parade Called Off Due To Coronavirus Crisis; Organizer Hopes To Hold It Later In Year

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Pride Parade has been postponed amid the coronavirus crisis, an organizer confirmed Wednesday.

Organizer Tim Frye confirmed that the parade, which had been set for June 28, will not take place on that date.

"We announce this postponement in the hope that conditions will allow the parade to take place later this summer or early fall," Frye said in a statement. "We have always felt that safety is the first priority for our participants in the parade; the hundreds of thousands of spectators; as well as all the city agencies and independent contractors that work so hard to make the parade a success every year."

If the parade cannot be rescheduled this year, it will be back in 2021 and "for years to come," Frye said in the statement.

The parade passes down Broadway, Halsted Street, Belmont Avenue, and Diversey Parkway in the Uptown and East Lakeview neighborhoods.

The first parade was held in 1970. An estimated 1 million people attend each year.

The Chicago Pride Fest, originally scheduled for June 20-21, has also been called off with hopes of holding it later in the season. Organizers hope to hold the festival on Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 5 and 6.

"We will continually evaluate the feasibility of hosting the festival with local and state officials as the current crisis evolves," Mark Liberson, Chicago Pride Fest Chairperson, said in a statement posted on the festival website.

There will also be virtual programming for Pride Month in June.

"Despite the current events, we remain steadfast in our belief that Pride should be celebrated far and wide and we will be creating virtual programming to bring the community and indeed world together to celebrate," Ramesh Ariyanayakam, President of the Northalsted Business Alliance, said in the statement.

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