These Events Have Been Cancelled or Rescheduled Due to COVID-19Mar 22, 2020 11:01PM ● By WLMagazine
This post will be updated as cancellations and delays related to COVID-19 are announced.
As West Michigan adjusts to life during the current pandemic, key events that we look forward to all year long have been canceled or rescheduled. Below is a list of festivals, race and seasons that have announced changes due to COVID-19.
Grand Rapids Pride Festival
The Grand Rapids Pride Center's annual celebrations of our city's LGBTQ+ community has been moved from its scheduled weekend in June to August 1.
Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival (GRLAFF)
In order to keep the community, audiences, and artists safe, the organizing committee of the Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival (GRLAFF) has officially postponed the 2020 festival, which was to take place April 3-5, 2020. The organizers anticipate holding the festival in the fall.
“While we are deeply saddened to announce that we are postponing the 2020 GRLAFF, we have decided that holding the festival at a later date is the best approach under the current circumstances,” said Mayra Fortes, co-chair of the GRLAFF organizing committee. “We thank the sponsors and supporters of the festival for their understanding during these challenging times,” added Fortes.
Organizers announced the cancellation of the 91st Tulip Time celebration scheduled for May 2–10, 2020.
“We are not certain what this means for future festivals, but we will be taking time to reimagine our role in serving our community,” said Tulip Time Communications Director, Simone Weithers. “What we are certain of is that 90 years of Tulip Time has prepared us to be a resource for our community. We will not let them down.”
West Michigan Whitecaps Opening Day
West Michigan's Minor League Baseball team has delayed their 2020 season, along with the rest of the league. In an official statement, the MLB assures fans they will make further announcements in regards to the 2020 season as the situation develops.
Festival of the Arts
Organizers announced last week that the beloved arts festival that draws thousands into the heart of downtown has been canceled for the first time in 50 years.
"All of our volunteer committees would normally be hard at work over the next few weeks planning this year’s event,” said David Abbott, executive director of Festival of the Arts. “With guidelines in place limiting gatherings, Festival’s Board of Directors and I felt it prudent to advise a halt of committee activity for the health and well being of all of our volunteers.”
Amway River Bank Run
Amway River Bank Run organizers have decided to reschedule the 2020 race from May 9 to October 24. All April training events and early May pre-race activities, including Junior have been canceled. A new training and event schedule will be shared as soon as possible.
Grand Rapids Drive
John Ball Zoo Opening
John Ball Zoo announced that it will remain closed during this time in the interest of public health. Additionally, staff is taking precautions to protect the zoo's animals.
“While much is still unknown about the impact COVID-19 could have on different species of animals, the collective knowledge at this time suggests that the risk is very low, said Dr. Ryan Colburn the Zoo’s veterinarian. “Despite this, we do know that human beings and primates can often share viruses and other diseases. With this in mind, the team is taking additional precautions to extend our social distancing behaviors to our interactions with the primates at the Zoo. The animal care and veterinary teams along with help from the rest of the Zoo team, will continue to work together to make sure that all of our animals are healthy and thriving.”