COVID-19 strikes again, depriving us of a Three Rivers Festival parade for the second year in a row. At least this year, however, there will be a festival — last year’s was canceled entirely due to the coronavirus.
The Three Rivers Festival Board issued a news release April 13 that said in part, “After discussions with the City of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Health Department, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this summer’s Three Rivers Festival parade.
“The Three Rivers Festival Board of Directors made this decision after taking into consideration the health risks involved and difficulties in hosting the festival’s largest event. While other events will be spread out for social distancing and safety measures, the parade is a bigger challenge with more than 50,000 people attending annually. In the end, the safety of our guests, parade participants, and volunteers comes first.”
A news release from Mayor Tom Henry’s office announced his support of the decision to cancel the 2021 Three Rivers Festival parade due to continued concerns regarding COVID-19.
“We recognize that this is disappointing news for our community, but we have to ensure that our community is as safe as possible,” Henry said in the news release. “There wasn’t going to be a way to have a parade that would allow for proper social distancing. The safety and well-being of the public is the top priority. I’m appreciative that the Three Rivers Festival Board of Directors does plan to move forward with this year’s Three Rivers Festival event with safety protocols and procedures at the forefront.”
The city of Fort Wayne administration is working with all local festivals to help ensure that event organizers can have safe gatherings that the public can enjoy this summer.