Atlanta Pride cancels 2021 festival and parade

People cheer on the parade during the 49th annual Pride Festival and Parade in Atlanta in 2019.  STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

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People cheer on the parade during the 49th annual Pride Festival and Parade in Atlanta in 2019. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

The 2021 Atlanta Pride festival and parade, which was scheduled for Oct. 9-10, has been canceled amid rising COVID-19 cases, officials announced Wednesday.

It’s the second year in a row that the annual celebration of the city’s LGBTQ community canceled its in-person events due to the pandemic. The festival is a usually a multi-day fete that typically attracts tens of thousands of revelers, activists, corporations and Democratic office-seekers. The Atlanta Pride Committee held several virtual events last year.

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The APC said its board of directors and executive director consulted with medical experts before deciding to cancel this year’s festival. The city also still has a moratorium on permits for events of 50,000 people or more.

“With the knowledge that we are unable to secure permitting for an event of our size and with the expectation that the Delta surge will continue for weeks ahead, APC makes this decision with a heavy heart,” the committee said in a statement.

“In the interim, we ask everyone to do their part by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and to follow all public health guidance so we can gather together for the Atlanta Pride Celebration in 2022.”

ExploreAtlanta Black Pride moving forward with Labor Day weekend celebration

The Atlanta Black Pride celebration is still on for Labor Day weekend, but its size will be scaled back from past years because of COVID-19.

The event, set for Piedmont Park Sept. 2-6 to celebrate the metro area’s African American LGBTQ+ community, will have fewer people — around 8,000 — and offer a smaller number of indoor events to make participation safer.