A number of major events in Miami-Dade County have become the latest victims of the coronavirus crisis sweeping the area.
On Thursday, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that the Miami-Dade Youth Fair scheduled to start March 12th and all other events in the county would be postponed amid a state of emergency in the county and growing concern of the pandemic.
"Life is going to be a little different for all of us in the weeks ahead so I urge everyone to be patient as we adjust to these temporary changes to ensure the health and well being of everyone in Miami-Dade County," Gimenez said at a news conference Thursday.
Gimenez said the county will constantly evaluate planned mass gatherings as the situation evolves.
Youth Fair officials said it was the first time in its 69-year history that the fair has been postponed.
“We have no choice but to comply with the mayor’s directive, which stems from his declaration of a state of emergency,” said Eddie Cora, president of The Youth Fair. “We will be reassessing the situation in the coming weeks and will make announcements as decisions are finalized.”
The annual Miami Beach Pride event, one of the largest in the LGBTQ community, will be rescheduled after officials from the organization consulted with Mayor Dan Gelber and health department officials.
Events scheduled for March 30th, including the raising of the rainbow flag over City Hall, will take place as scheduled.
During an exclusive interview with NBC 6 earlier Thursday, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert announced he signed a state of emergency for the city that includes postponing the annual Jazz in The Gardens music festival scheduled for this weekend at Hard Rock Stadium as well as all events surrounding the festival.
“We’re going to look at rescheduling, but first we’ve got to concentrate on getting the community ready and preparing for COVID-19,” Gilbert said
Gilbert said the decision was difficult but became necessary with the “quick pace” at which things were changing.
This year’s event was scheduled to feature headline performances from R&B stars Mary J. Blige and Jill Scott.
Other events postponed include the Miami Open tennis tournament, scheduled to start March 23rd at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, the MIA 5K run, and all major events at the American Airlines Arena.
"As a former player and now tournament director, I understand how disappointing it is for the players, fans, partners and tournament staff who worked tirelessly to get the site ready," said Miami Open tournament director James Blake, adding the event would not be rescheduled.
NASCAR's annual race at Homestead Miami Speedway scheduled for March 22nd has been postponed, but officials have not announced if the race will be moved to another week on the schedule or will be held without fans.