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Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Planning continues for Carnivals in Miami, New York and Notting Hill

The West Indian Day Parade in New York is still on so far. Image from the West Indian American Carnival Association Facebook page.

The West Indian Day Parade in New York is still on so far. Image from the West Indian American Carnival Association Facebook page.

Even though the majority of major carnivals in the Caribbean are either cancelled or postponed, three major West Indian festivals in the diaspora might still be on.

At this point, planning is still ongoing for Miami Carnival, the West Indian Day Parade in New York and London’s Notting Hill Carnival.

Organisers of Miami’s Carnival say the event is still on but they are to yet to decide on the format of the event scheduled for October 8 to 12.

Yvette Nicol Harris, Public Relations Manager for the event, told Loop they are working with the venues, and government to ensure they will be within the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines.

"We know that events will have to shift some," she said. 

Correspondence posted on Miami Carnival's Instagram account on Monday said the Miami Broward One Host Committee is monitoring the COVID-19 virus and consulting with its elected officials in Miami Dade and Broward Counties, health officials, park departments and stakeholders before making any decision as to what the event will look like.

Connie Kinnard, Vice President of Multi-cultural Tourism and Development of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, applauded the Carnival organisers for their vision to continue the Carnival in the fall.

“Things are evolving concerning guidelines for gatherings and festivals in general concerning COVID-19but we are committed to continuing our support of the festival based on the implementation of the best scenarios for success and safety,” she said in the release.

The organisers assure that the safety and health of their patrons are a priority and they will work within the CDC's guidelines to limit the spread of the virus in local communities.

Organisers of the West Indian Day Parade in New York are also assuring that they are monitoring the virus and will work within guidelines to limit the spread.

In a letter issued on May 1, the governing body, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), said they are planning to proceed with the festival although they did not state in what format.

“Based on the increasing public health measures being implemented domestically and internationally, along with considerable time to assess and respond to developments between now and December, we at the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), are planning to proceed to our year-round community programs and New York Caribbean Carnival Week with new offerings,” they said.

Notting Hill Carnival’s last correspondence to patrons on March 18 assured that the event is still on.

Ben Pester, Public Relations Officer for the festival, told Loop the situation is fluid and anything could change by the hour or the day. 

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