Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Wight Pride event called off due to Covid concerns

2 min read

Wight Pride have cancelled the Parade and Pride event, due to be held on July 17.

The final milestone on the government’s road out of lockdown will not be reached until at least June 21. This is the date the government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact and the remaining restrictions on large events. The decision depends on the outcome of a scientific research programme, with pilot events trialling a range of techniques to cut the risk of infection.
Uncertainty about the final milestone date, along with the of impact current restrictions, mean Wight Pride volunteers are unable to plan and prepare for the day effectively. There were also concerns about fundraising, as many local sponsors rely on tourism and have been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

A Wight Pride spokesman said: “As a charity we must consider the risk to us of investing money in planning for an event which might not be able to take place. That could result in significant debt and perhaps loss of the charity and the event itself in future years.

“We also need to put the safety and well-being of our communities, the wider public and our valued volunteers first.
“This decision is not one we have taken lightly as we had big plans, including returning to the beach. It is a huge disappointment to us all.”

The charity intends to hold several community engagement activities and small events around the Island and to have a presence at other Island events.
The spokesman added: “We will use this as an opportunity to rebuild our volunteer network and plan properly for our return, all being well with the world, with a Pride on July 16, 2022.”