Milwaukee's 2021 PrideFest canceled (again) due to COVID-19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- Milwaukee's PrideFest officially canceled its four-day event slated for June on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Milwaukee Pride, Inc., the parent organization of PrideFest, Wisconsin's largest LGBTQ+ event, said the cancelation is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second year in a row PrideFest has been canceled because of the coronavirus.

The festival was set to take place at the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds from Thursday, June 3 through Sunday, June 6.

However, Milwaukee Pride is looking for later, alternative dates for PrideFest and intend to move the event later in 2021.

"After much consideration, we cannot move forward with planning a June 2021 festival without knowing how and when a vaccine will be distributed throughout our community equally," Milwaukee Pride, Inc. President Wes Shaver said. "It is still unclear as to how (or if) public gatherings will happen in 2021 and we cannot risk the health and wellbeing of our community by putting the festival ahead of the people it serves. Now, more than ever, we need to amplify the work of our community partners and increase accessibility an d awareness of the many services, resources, and programs available to support LGBTQ+ people."

The Milwaukee Pride Board of Directors are working with Milwaukee World Festival Inc., leadership on possible alternate daters, according to a  news release.

The board is also exploring the possibility of different formats and locations if the Henry W. Maier Festival Park is unavailable.

"We don't want people to think there will be no pride this year," PrideFest Festival Producer and Vice President of Milwaukee Pride, Inc. Luke Olson said. "We simply want to ensure we're taking the right steps forward."

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