Tampa City Council discusses return of parades, festivals

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Parades and festivals bring crowds of people and millions of dollars to Tampa Bay each year. But COVID-19 has changed things.

Large gatherings have been a concern for city leaders.

Tampa Pride pulled the plug on its parade in 2020. Carrie West, the nonprofit’s president says they’re still recovering from the cancellation.

“It was kind of a drop of the heart and stomach, and a big punch,” West said.

The next Tampa Pride parade is scheduled for May 22.

“What we were told was, move forward slowly at a steady pace,” West recalled. “At the beginning of March they said move a little faster, your pace is going well.”

“We have all the money that was paid out for the event itself, for supplies. We’re not the only one. I think there are a lot of non-profits that aren’t going to be making it,” West added.

City leaders say parades and festivals won’t get the official green light until closer to their scheduled dates. This will allow the council to look at coronavirus rates and decide whether it’s safe enough to hold events. A city spokesperson said the events will be canceled if the COVID-19 rate is above 5%.

The Tampa City Council is meeting on Thursday to talk about the right of way permits for upcoming events in 2021. The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m.

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