Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that large events requiring a city events permit will be canceled through September 30th as the City works to prioritize open spaces for public use.
“The City will not issue a permit for any event in a location that interferes with the Open Streets or Open Restaurants program. Permits will also be denied for all events larger than one block, stage/video events that require amplification, street fairs, and events in parks that may unreasonably diminish public use. The City will refund or defer fees paid in connection with a denied permit,” officials announced.
That means – no West Indian Day Parade, no Jouvert, no Atlantic Antic or Flatbush Frolic.
“As New York has begun its reopening process, accessible open spaces are more important than ever,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “While it pains me to call off some of the city’s beloved events, our focus now must be the prioritization of city space for public use and the continuation of social distancing.”
The West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn annually attracts one to three million participants. Earlier this week, Staten Island Council Membe Joe Borelli Tweeted, “Each year there’s several shootings and homicides surrounding the West Indian Day Parade & J’ouvert. It’s a danger for cops, revelers & the public.”
“Without the enhanced police presence, made possible only by assigning officers on overtime, the city of New York can make no reasonable guarantee that revelers will be safe,” he said. “This danger also extends to police officers assigned to these commands during their regular shifts.”
The Parade was supposed to take place on September 7 and based on the Mayor’s announcement, the parade would be canceled. But, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) has not yet announced its plans.
“Plans for virtual activities celebrating the many Caribbean cultures will be announced soon,” Hank Sheinkopf, a spokesperson for WIADCA told Bklyner. “We also are requesting a meeting with the Mayor to discuss all options.”
Events that do not conflict with Open Streets or Open Restaurant areas and are for locations one city block or smaller can still apply for a permit. The Mayor’s Executive Order will require all permit applicants to outline their plan to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at the event site and clean the event space both during and after the event. Applicants will be expected to address these concerns without utilizing City services, personnel, and resources.
Demonstrations, religious events, and press conferences will be exempt from the Executive Order and may receive permits. This Executive Order will help ensure social distancing, allow for greater public use of open space, address traffic flow concerns, and allocate City resources efficiently.