Several events for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., are now canceled or postponed due to concerns about the coronavirus, festival organizers announced Wednesday.
The 2020 festival was scheduled to run from March 20 to April 14. Festival organizers say all previously scheduled events through March 31 are postponed or canceled based on the D.C. Department of Health's recommendations.
"It is a difficult decision and one that we do not take lightly," Diana Mayhew, president and CEO of the festival, said in a release. "We have been working closely with the city government, WHO and CDC as well as our partners to determine the best course of action."
Mayhew said her team is continually assessing the situation and looking for ways to "reimagine" events like the festival's opening ceremony.
The following events are affected:
Pink Tie Party (March 20)
The party is postponed. The festival is looking at future dates to reschedule. However, the silent auction fundraiser will still take place online.
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Opening Ceremony (March 21)
The ceremony will not take place as planned at the Warner Theatre. The festival is looking at options including live streaming the event.
Blossom Kite Festival (March 28)
This event is canceled.
In addition, the Tidal Basin Welcome Area presented with the National Park Service and ANA Stage is canceled.
Organizers said they will determine what changes will be made to other events scheduled into April.