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Organizers cancel 2020 Ferndale Pride, DIY Street Fair

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 23, 2020

 Ferndale Pride will not take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ferndale Pride will not take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

File photo by Donna Dalziel

 Ashley Ross, of the Cuddle Cult, shows some of the plush dolls she had for sale at last year's DIY Street Fair in Ferndale. Fair organizers announced June 23 that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will not take place this year.

Ashley Ross, of the Cuddle Cult, shows some of the plush dolls she had for sale at last year's DIY Street Fair in Ferndale. Fair organizers announced June 23 that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will not take place this year.

File photo by Donna Agusti

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FERNDALE — Due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and hoping to support the continued decline of the disease in Michigan, the organizers of the Ferndale Pride festival and the DIY Street Fair have canceled the events for 2020.

Ferndale Pride organizers announced June 23 in a statement that the yearly event, which already had been postponed from its original May 30 date, will no longer take place Sept. 26.

“We had been hopeful that Ferndale Pride would take place in September,” said event chair Julia Music in a statement. “However, we have decided to exercise an abundance of caution and not bring 20,000 people together and put people at risk for COVID-19. The City of Ferndale, Ferndale Community Foundation and Ferndale Pride want to do our part to keep families healthy.”

Ferndale Pride instead will look ahead to next year, which will mark the festival’s 10th anniversary. Organizers have scheduled the event for Saturday, June 5, 2021.

A big factor in Pride’s cancellation was the thousands of attendees the festival gathers each year. Though the state of Michigan has loosened restrictions on how many people can gather in a space, Music told C & G Newspapers that holding an event like Pride would exceed any order put forth by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Music doesn’t want to risk anyone’s health in holding Pride.

“As we consider things like people standing in loose spaces and volunteers … the health of our community was the No. 1 question in our mind as we decided to make the cancellation,” she said.

“People have their free choices and they don’t always decide to take health precautions, but a lot of our team is made up of people who either are health compromised or older,” Music said. “A lot of volunteers in general are senior citizens and we don’t want to put anybody at risk. I even worry about my own health going into an event like this, because there’s just so many people that show up, which is wonderful, but not in times of a pandemic.”

On the same day as Pride’s announcement, the DIY Street Fair, which was slated to be held Sept. 18-20, also announced that it will not be held this year, instead postponing the event to September 2021.

“Although we hoped the COVID-era landscape would be different by the fall, we must concede that it would be irresponsible and inappropriate to hold this year's event with regard to public health and safety concerns for our artists, participants and community,” event organizers said in a statement on Facebook.

Music said the event cancellations were intentionally made on the same day.

“We’re fortunate we have a great working relationship with the DIY Festival, and they felt exactly the same way we did, so we came together to make the cancellation on the same day,” she said.

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