On Monday, the Crown Heights-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) announced their yearly carnival parade would be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Caribbean Life News reports.

Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced any large events that required permits would be canceled through September 30, especially if the event interfered with the Open Streets and street dining programs.

“As New York has begun its reopening process, accessible open spaces are more important than ever,” the mayor said.

“While it pains me to call off some of the city’s beloved events, our focus now must be the prioritization of city space for public use and the continuation of social distancing.”

While the carnival won’t be in person, WIADCA has plans to go virtual. The online carnival will feature music performances, highlight art, fitness, health and culinary masters. They will also compile film footage from previous carnivals and pay tribute to youth and seniors.

“Our program will highlight activities COVID-19 cannot and will not be allowed to stop,” WIADCA stressed.

“We are addressing and promoting enhanced mental health and wellness specialization, community awareness and camaraderie. We know that our young people will protect and transmit our cultures to future generations. We will be producing a virtual youth festival.”

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Yannise Jean

Yannise Jean is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in publications like Okayplayer and Well + Good. Follow her on Twitter @yjeanwrites.

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