AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Pride has been canceled for the second year in a row.
After direction from the City of Austin, the Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation confirmed to KXAN that given Austin’s current Stage 5 COVID-19 risk status and dangerously low number of ICU beds, the event, scheduled to begin Saturday, would need to wait yet again.
As of Tuesday morning, the region only had 2 ICU beds available. Locally, statewide and nationally, new COVID-19 cases have surged due to the more aggressive delta variant. The variant is proving to be treacherous even for vaccinated people.
On Wednesday, Austin Pride said in a statement: “The choice was made for us, and for the safety of our city and community, to put a pause on in-person gatherings. We were more excited than you know to celebrate with you all. The reality of being in the thick of this pandemic again is truly heartbreaking.”
Austin Pride President Micah Andress said at this point, he isn’t sure if rescheduling the event would be feasible, saying non-refundable money has been invested. The 2020 festivities were canceled last June, with the foundation calling the choice the “most responsible decision for us and our community.”
Last year’s event would have marked Austin Pride’s 30th anniversary. The foundation had planned on celebrating the milestone this year, but now, it’ll have to wait again.
Austin Pride delivered a message of hope to the LGBTQ community and supporters, explaining:
“Pride organizations across the nation are suffering the same heavy blows. But we are determined to stand strong. You are too important… Pride is too important to allow ourselves to be defeated. If we come together as a community, we can find a way to thrive.”Austin Pride
It’s the latest major city event to announce its cancelation. On Monday, Austin City Limits Radio announced its Blues on the Green live music shows scheduled for August 10-11 would be postponed. So far, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is still set to be held in October.
As of Monday, there are 2,798 active COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County. There are currently 557 people hospitalized, 191 patients in the ICU, and 116 people on ventilators.