PrideFest organizers have canceled the annual four-day festival that was scheduled for June at the Summerfest grounds.
It’s the second year in a row that Milwaukee Pride, Inc., the festival’s parent organization, has canceled the event due to COVID-19 concerns.
This year’s festival was slated to take place from June 3-6.
“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” said Wes Shaver, Milwaukee Pride, Inc. president. “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 and awareness of the many services, resources, and programs available to support LGBTQ+ people.”
The Milwaukee Pride board of directors is working with Milwaukee World Festival Inc. leadership on potential alternate dates and different formats and locations if the Summerfest grounds are unavailable later this year.
In a typical year, the four-day festival brings thousands of people to Milwaukee’s lakefront. In 2019, the festival had record attendance of 45,787 people.
In lieu of its in-person health and wellness showcase at the festival, Milwaukee Pride said it is launching a digital health and wellness platform for free that will connect people to programs, services and resources in the community.
“We don’t want people to think there will be no PRIDE this year,” said Luke Olson, PrideFest festival producer and vice president of Milwaukee Pride. “We simply want to ensure we’re taking the right steps forward. We hope people trust that our intentions are for the safety of the community, and for efforts for a digital Health & Wellness will continually put access at the forefront of our community efforts year-round.”
Summerfest, which was canceled in 2020, is currently scheduled to return this year over three weekends, June 24-26, July 1-3, and July 8-10.
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