Residents Concerned Las Olas Art Festival Could Become ‘Super Spreader' Event in Pandemic

Fair organizers say the event won’t look like past years and attendees can reserve free time slots online before arriving

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The annual Las Olas Art Festival is still scheduled to take place in 2020 under certain safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic - but some in the community say the protocols are not enough and want the event canceled.

The event was given the green light to take place this Saturday and Sunday in downtown Fort Lauderdale, but a group of residents has sent a letter to both city officials and Broward County urging the event to not take place as planned.

Nearly two dozen residents, including some doctors, fear it could turn into a 'super spreader' event and say their issue is the timing, not the actual event.

“Even though it’s outdoors, it doesn’t mean you’re safe,” said Dr. Joseph Arena. “With the congestion and all the people and all the heat, it's only going to enhance the problem."

Fair organizers say the event won’t look like past years and attendees can reserve time slots online before arriving while also encouraging social distancing and asking everyone to wear a mask.

“This has been done with months of planning working within all of the safety protocols," said Elizabeth Dashiell, publicist for the Las Olas Art Festival.

Broward County officials say organizers submitted a plan to the county that met all requirements. Those opposed to the event say there should have been a public discussion.

“We all want the world back to normal. Every one of us wants this event to happen, when it’s safe,” said Stan Eichelbaum from the Fort Lauderdale Alliance for Good Government.

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