A handful of popular community events across DeKalb County were canceled or postponed Thursday due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has urged elderly residents and people with weakened immune systems to avoid large crowds where they could contract the disease caused by coronavirus.
Here’s a city-by-city breakdown of the events that are being altered:
Brookhaven: The Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, the city’s popular spring celebration, was planned for the last weekend in March. Officials announced Thursday that the festival, and a 5K race scheduled for a week earlier, will no longer happen.
“While we are disappointed with the cancellation this year of our signature event, Brookhaven also strives to protect the health of all of our residents and visitors, and especially those most vulnerable,” Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said in a statement. “The Cherry Blossom Festival will return next year, and I look forward to working with everyone to plan another amazing party.”
Brookhaven is also closing two recreation centers — the Lynwood Park Recreation Center and the Briarwood Recreation Center — and suspending all youth and adult classes and athletic programs.
Avondale Estates: All public events that were permitted by the city for the remainder of March and April will be postponed or canceled, the city announced Thursday. The city’s Municipal Court is also suspended “until further notice.”
In-person attendance at upcoming public meetings is prohibited for residents, the city said. Board of Mayor and Commissioners meetings will be available through live stream, and residents can call in through a “teleconference number.”
“This will allow interested parties to participate without attending in person,” Mayor Jonathan Elmore said in a statement.
Dunwoody: Mayor Lynn Deutsch’s “State of the City” address, scheduled for Thursday evening at Dunwoody United Methodist Church, was canceled Thursday afternoon “in light of new developments today regarding public events and COVID-19,” the city said in a tweet.
Decatur: Upcoming events like Touch-a-Truck, Touch-a-Budget and the Easter Egg Hunt have been canceled, city spokeswoman Renae Madison said. Decatur 101 classes and Truckin’ Tuesdays events have been suspended.
Chamblee: All “special events” for the next month, including Chamblee Restaurant Week and the Atlanta United Watch Party, are canceled, the city said in a statement. Regular public gatherings, like Chamblee 101, Police Cadet classes, and park cleanups, are suspected for 30 days beginning at the end of the day Friday.
Doraville: Mayor Joseph Geierman told City Council and staff that the Doraville Business Forum scheduled for next Tuesday has been postponed “out of an abundance of caution for public health.” The event was set to bring together businesses and commercial property owners for a discussion with city officials about the business community in Doraville.
Geierman has asked Doraville’s city manager to “quickly come up with a pandemic preparedness plan that will keep the city operational even if a large portion of its workforce falls ill,” he posted on Facebook on March 1. Residents are encouraged to live stream public City Council meetings, city spokesman Douglas Carroll said.
Tucker: The popular Tucker Chili Cook-Off, now in its ninth year of operation, is being postponed. The event usually draws thousands to Tucker’s Main Street.
“I was really hoping we would be able to pull it off, but after much discussion we have decided to err on the side of caution and postpone,” said Chili Cook-off organizer Jamey Wilson. “This was not an easy decision for us to make, but this event attracts thousands of people and it just didn’t seem worth risking people’s health.”
DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry and the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority are canceling two free notary training sessions that were scheduled for Friday.
“The event is being canceled for the safety and well-being of our community amid the ongoing public health concerns,” DeBerry said in a statement.
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