After months of saying it was still going to be on, the New York based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) has now officially announced the cancellation of the annual Labour Day carnival parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway this year.
The cancellation comes mere days after New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio stated that large events requiring a city events permit, will be cancelled through September 30, “as the city works to prioritize open spaces for public use”.
The mayor said the city will not issue a permit for any event in a location that interferes with the Open Streets or Open Restaurants program.
De Blasio said the city will refund or defer fees paid in connection with a denied permit.
WIADCA, however, said the carnival tradition will be uninterrupted, as it instead goes virtual for 2020.
“Our plans are to do whatever we can –in the virtual world of COVID-19 communications – to sustain us all until we can again be physically together,” it added.
“We inaugurate our 54th year using technology. We refuse to give in. COVID-19 will not stop us. The show must go on.”
WIADCA said its on-line offerings will highlight art, music performances, fitness, health and culinary masters.
In addition, it said it will pay special tribute to the youth and seniors, and that a compendium of film footage taken of previous carnivals is being created as well.