Mayor cancels large outdoor events through September, including Feast of Santa Rosalia

July 13, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Mayor cancels large outdoor events through September, including Feast of Santa Rosalia
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Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement that large events requiring a city events permit will be canceled through Sept. 30 left Brooklynites saddened that several events won’t take place, including the Feast of Santa Rosalia in August.

This year would have marked the 44th annual feast, which runs along 18th Avenue from 67th Street to Bay Ridge Parkway. The avenue is also known as Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard.

“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,” said de Blasio.

Permits will 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.

“New York is known for its summer street festivals,” said Carlo Scissura, president and CEO at New York Building Congress and 2018 grand marshal of the Feast of Santa Roslia. “The Giglio Feast in WIlliamsburg and Saint Rosalia and the Caribbean Carnival in September and Feast of San Gennaro, so it’s just a lot of things I think New Yorkers are going to miss this summer. But precautions are critical and we are still really vigilant.”

Scissura also expressed concern for the vendors.

“There are vendors who spend the whole summer going feast to feast, making money,” he said. “I’m worried that there are going to be hundreds of vendors and thousands of people that won’t have work this summer.”

“Due to COVID-19, there have been cancellations and postponements of events throughout our city, state and country,” said Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11. “While I am sure that people will be disappointed that street fairs and multi-block events have been canceled through September, we have next year to look forward to.”

According to the mayor’s office, 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.

Scissura said hosting a smaller-scale festival is unlikely.

“It’ll be very difficult,” he said. “The good thing is we are going to shoot to do a mass and a small procession and at least we will have the religious part of it.”

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