BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — There will be no festivals or parades allowed in the city of Boston this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
At a press conference on Friday, Mayor Walsh said he knew the cancelations would be "disappointing for many," but he wanted to give organizations that planned on holding annual events plenty of time and as much clarity as possible.
"I'm announcing today that parades and festivals will not take place this summer in the city of Boston, up to and including Labor Day on September 7," said Walsh. "For smaller events, we'll be looking at them on a case-by-case basis as we move through the summer months."
Walsh said the city is planning a "healthy reopening and an equitable recover process," which will happen as soon as the health data tells them it's safe.
"We do not envision at this point, this summer when it will make sense to have large-scale crowds gathered in close contact for any prolonged periods of time."
As of Thursday, Boston had confirmed 10,598 coronavirus cases and 486 deaths. However, there have been some statistics moving in the right direction. Yesterday, Walsh said Boston had its "first day since we started counting that we had more recoveries in Boston than new cases, which means the total number of active cases went down for the first time.”
Mayor Walsh called it "a public health decision, and the right decision," to hold off on allowing crowds to gather at concerts, road races, or flag raising events. He said anyone who was planning to hold one of those events should "start looking at alternatives now."
The cancelation will impacts many traditional and cultural events that happen annually in Boston, which Walsh noted would also have an economic impact on the city. But, he said, people are already reimagining how the events could inspire their communities to get through the pandemic.
"I urge everyone who organizes annual parades and celebrations to observe the spirit of your event," said Walsh. "These are parades that celebrate neighborhoods, they celebrate ethnic communities, they commemorate history of our country. They are a good reminder of who we are, and what we're fighting for. We're a city that is diverse, creative, compassionate, and resilient. And those are the qualities we need now to stay strong and get through this challenge."
The traditional Boston Pop's Fireworks Spectacular on July 4th has been canceled, due to COVID-19. Instead, Walsh said, the orchestra has adapted to the situation and will be playing a "Salute To Our Heroes" concert to honor the frontline workers and those who have lost their lives during the pandemic. The BSO's show will air live at 8 p.m. on Independence Day on TV, radio, and online.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal reports: