Organizers of D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival announced this week that due to ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade and festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row for LGBTQ Pride Month in June.
But in a Jan. 27 statement, the Capital Pride Alliance said with the possibility that at least some COVID restrictions would be lifted in the fall, organizers are considering “a new take on the traditional parade” in October.
“It depends on how things are looking with COVID and what restrictions are in place and what type of permits the city is actually approving,” said Ryan Bos, executive director of Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes D.C.’s Pride events. “But our hope would be we would be able to do a smaller in-person parade come this fall,” Bos told the Washington Blade. “It would be shorter and have less contingents.”
Bos said Capital Pride organizers are also hopeful that a curtailment of the COVID restrictions will enable them to hold a Pride block party in October as a replacement for the festival, but he said no decision has been made about where in the city such a block party would be held.
“Due to the ongoing pandemic, we will not be able to celebrate Pride this June,” the group’s statement says. “However, Capital Pride Alliance is actively working to create unique and inspiring opportunities this Pride month in place of our usual festivities,” the statement says.
According to the statement, one event planned for February will a “first ever” Pride Summit called #StillWeLead, which will take place virtually. Bos said the free-of-charge summit will take place on four successive Thursday evenings beginning the last Thursday in February and will involve discussions among leaders and members of LGBTQ organizations and anyone else in the community interested in participating.
The statement says Capital Pride is also conducting an economic impact survey of participants in past Capital Pride events who live both in D.C. and in surrounding states who have been regular participants in D.C. pride events each year.
“It will measure the impact that individuals have by attending the Capital Pride celebration and it will also help make Pride bigger, better, and more accessible and inclusive to all,” says the statement.
Capital Pride is urging people to take the survey in time for a Feb. 3 deadline for completing it by visiting CapitalPride.org/survey.
Bos said other virtual Pride events are being planned for June, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The Capital Pride Alliance is determined to continue its award-winning programs developed in 2020, such as Pride Talks and the web series Pride in the City,” the Capital Pride statement says in referring to online virtual events.
“Perhaps most importantly, we are planning to bring our community back together for an unforgettable, large-scale Pride in 2022, and have set our eyes on 2025 when we will celebrate 50 years of Pride in the Nation’s Capital,” the statement concludes.
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