"In an effort to dispel rumors of the cancellation of the 2018 Central PA Pride Festival in Harrisburg Sat., July 28, the board of directors of the festival told Central Voice "prudent action" has been taken to activate "our alternate festival location back up plan.” Specific detials about that were not released by the board during a flurry of meetings and discussions.
The board's efforts were necessitated due to the deluge of rain that has inundated South Central Pennsylvania over the past several days causing local waterways, specifically the Susquehanna River, to rise to high levels.
Directors noted as of July 25 "the event is NOT cancelled" and work is under way to ensure the event is held due to the weather. The directors added they have been "in constant communication with the City of Harrisburg" regarding the annual festival that is to be held along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg.
Following is the official announcement by the board:
"Like most of you, we too have been keeping close (hourly) watch on the amount of rain the Harrisburg region is receiving this week and the impact that rain will have on our 26th Pride Festival scheduled for Saturday July 28th in Harrisburg’s beautiful Riverfront Park.
All of us including City of Harrisburg leaders our concerned about the impact a minor flood of the Susquehanna River will have on the Shipoke Neighborhood and the section of Riverfront Park where we hold the Pride festival. Our Board has met with City of Harrisburg officials ... and we are in constant contact with them regarding the flood stage of the river. Also this morning (July 25) we took the prudent action of activating our alternate Festival location back up plan.
"As of this writing, the festival is NOT canceled! Please know the Executive Board of the Pride Festival of Central PA is tirelessly working and will continue to work and do everything in our power to keep the event and festivities as planned and scheduled. We’ve worked way too hard this year to cancel Pride now. We know every year this is someone’s first Pride and how important this festival is to many of you in the community.
"Keeping the event in Riverfront Park will depend on how high the Susquehanna River breeches its banks. None of us will know how high the river will crest until it happens. As stated earlier, we are working on an alternate festival location should the need arise. That information will be made public when and if that decision is made. We are counting on all of you to help us get the word out should we need to move the festival.
"We will immediately announce more information closer to pride and as decisions are made, so please check back on our Facebook page and website for information and messages we have regarding the weather and flooding.
"Most important to us is the safety of our patrons, vendors, sponsors and community. We hope all of you stay safe and dry. We are deeply concerned for all our neighbors being horribly impacted by this weather and will work to help all of you who have been negatively impacted by these weather events.
"Our LGBT+ community has faced far worse adversity and dealt with and overcome much more challenging obstacles than these current weather patterns. Saturday’s weather looks like a perfect time to get out all that rainbow gear and celebrate being Courageous; because after all, Courage is what Pride is all about.
"Thank you for all your support, we hope to see all of you on Saturday and no matter what Keep Proud!"