Chicago's Pride Parade, one of the largest in the nation, has been postponed amid concerns over the coronavirus crisis, marking a first for the parade celebrating more than 50 years in the city.
Parade organizers confirmed the postponement to NBC 5 but offered no new date for the event, which was set to step off June 28. They estimate the parade could be rescheduled for late-summer or early-fall.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday the city was in talks with organizers about a decision on the event, noting uncertainty around whether large gatherings will be possible in June.
"We have to be guided by the science and data," Lightfoot said.
Organizers for Chicago Pride Fest also decided to postpone their 20th annual event, scheduled for June 20-21, amid the coronavirus crisis.
The two-day event typically held the weekend before the Pride Parade is set to be rescheduled for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6, the Northalsted Business Alliance confirmed to NBC 5.
Other major Chicago festivals like those celebrating blues and gospel music in the city have also been canceled.
Some suburbs have also canceled Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations with the fate of Illinois' summer unclear as the state continues its battle with coronavirus.
Chicago's Navy Pier remains closed due to a statewide stay-at-home order but no decision has been announced on the iconic fireworks display put on each Fourth of July at the venue.
The cancellations come as residents across the state question how long the stay-at-home order will last. Currently, the order is set to expire on April 30, but officials have indicated that deadline will likely be extended.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday she expects the order could continue well into May and possibly even June.
"April 30 is no longer, I think, a viable date," Lightfoot said on a conference call with reporters. "I would expect an extension of the stay-at-home order and the other orders that were put in place as a result of the response to COVID-19 to go through sometime in May. It certainly could go into June."
Gov. J.B. Pritzker declined to give a definitive answers on if the order will be extended and for how long, but noted Tuesday that changes are expected.
"We will be making changes, but it is true that [the order] is working," Pritzker said. "It seems to me to remove it entirely is to open everything back up to infection."
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