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Iowa City's 2020 Pride Festival has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

"The 2020 celebration was to be the 50-year celebration of a group of LGBTQI + students marching in the University of Iowa Homecoming parade which paved the way for Iowa City Pride," reads a Monday release from Iowa City Pride. "While 2020 Pride is canceled, there are still plans to participate in the fall homecoming parade."

The Press-Citizen previously reported the festival as one of the few events still scheduled for the summer. However, following a meeting of the Iowa City Pride Board of Directors on Sunday, it was ultimately decided the festival would not occur as previously planned due to the pandemic.

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"Ultimately, the safety of all our communities is the most important," said Pride president Anthony Sivanthaphanith in the press release. "Pride is more than 'June,' it is something we can celebrate every day. The board looks forward to planning more events soon and some creative ways, virtually, to celebrate like joining other Pride organizations for Virtual Global Pride June 27."

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The other summer events yet to be canceled mentioned in the Press-Citizen's previous article are those put on by the Summer of the Arts. In previous coverage, that organization's executive director Lisa Barnes described the planning situation as a "holding pattern" as they await guidelines from the city and state.

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While there have been only small official cancelations in the face of coronavirus, Barnes anticipates that the Iowa Arts Festival, scheduled for early June, in particular, will likely be at least scaled back when all is said and done.

"As far as the Iowa Arts Festival, we will make a decision on how to proceed by early May," said Barnes, "at which point we will also be reviewing our June programming."

Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Press-Citizen. Reach him at ihamlet@press-citizen.com or (319)-688-4247, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet

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