Well, ain’t that a kick in the pants.

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young announced Wednesday that he is canceling all special events through Aug. 31 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Young said, “We believe this is the best move for the health of the city and its residents.” My sincere question is, how will the city accept it? Last week, Governor Larry Hogan lifted restrictions across the state, but Young and county leaders kept the stay-at-home restriction in place.

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Even city leader Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore in on board, releasing a statement, saying: “We’re all in this together as our city, the country and the world slowly begin to recover from the unprecedented impact of COVID-19. Visit Baltimore continues to follow guidelines set by the state of Maryland and the city of Baltimore. While we know many will be sad to miss beloved summer events and traditions, we support the city and state’s multi-phased recovery plans.

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We look forward to welcoming visitors back when the time is right.”

I understand safety as the numbers have an uptick in coronavirus cases over the last week.

[Baltimore Sun] Baltimore has been under a stay-at-home order since mid-March in response to the virus, which is spread person-to-person, particularly when people are in close contact with one another. The CDC has recommended people remain at least 6 feet from one another to limit the spread, and that social distancing standard has forced the suspension or cancellation of countless public events across the country.

Still, Baltimore is one of the largest cities to officially call off its July Fourth celebration. Other cities including Chicago, Cleveland and Raleigh have reportedly considered it. Philadelphia officials announced their annual Welcome America festival will be held in a virtual setting this year, but no announcement has been made about fireworks.

In New York City, one of the nation’s coronavirus hot spots, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he is committed to have fireworks on the holiday.
“One way or another, the show will go on, one way or another, we’re going to celebrate the Fourth of July in a very special way in New York City,” he said during an April briefing.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts announced in an emailed press release Wednesday that two of its signature summer events, the Artscape public arts festival and 4th of July celebration, are cancelled.

“We are looking into ways we can virtually celebrate and showcase the arts in Baltimore this summer and we look forward to resuming healthy gatherings across the city when it is safe to do so,” said BOPA CEO Donna Drew Sawyer in the release. For instance, the exhibitions for the annual Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize will be done virtually this year.



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