Cincinnati Pride Cancels 2021 Festival and Parade Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Despite the bad news, the organization still is planning to host virtual or smaller, safer events that celebrate Pride and build community.

Feb 3, 2021 at 9:11 am
click to enlarge Photograph from Cincinnati's 2019 Pride Parade - Photo: Brittany Thornton
Photo: Brittany Thornton
Photograph from Cincinnati's 2019 Pride Parade

Cincinnati Pride has announced that in-person Pride celebrations would be canceled for 2021.

In a Feb. 1 Facebook post from Benjamin Morano, Cincinnati Pride's festival and parade chairperson, the organization says that its board of directors concluded that in-person events don't support health initiatives to slow the spread of the coronavirus during the ongoing pandemic. 

"We know these events are very important to our community. However, our main consideration is and always will be, the health and safety of all attendees and volunteers," the post reads. "In good conscience, we cannot continue to plan for these events in a manner that reinforces those beliefs, given the continued trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. We felt it was important to decide now before our community’s planning and eventual disappointment continue to grow."

While the parade and festival won't be happening this year, Morano says that the board is planning to host virtual or smaller events that celebrate Pride and build community.

"We are dedicated to finding new and innovative ways of celebrating Pride this year. We will be bringing various online content, as well as very small socially-distanced experiences and events, which we will announce to you in the coming months," Morano says in the post.

Morano goes on to urge supporters to follow guidelines that help slow the spread of COVID-19, including washing hands frequently, wearing masks and physically distancing from others, providing links to Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana coronavirus websites.

Morano also provides a link to the Cincinnati Pride website that features resources and services for the LGBTQ+ community.

Cincinnati Pride canceled its 2020 celebration amid coronavirus concerns, initially postponing the event from June to October but aborting that date, as well, as COVID-19 cases continued to rise through the fall.

"Given the constant threat of Covid-19, it is not in the best interest of the community in which we serve to have such a large event that places tens of thousands of attendees at such high risk for spreading this potentially deadly virus," Morano said at the time.

A number of groups celebrated Pride safely from their homes in 2020 through "Outside for Pride" events.

The first Cincinnati Pride celebration was in April of 1973.