Seven of Westchester’s 12 spring and summer cultural festivals have been canceled for this year with the county unable to ensure proper social distancing protocols at the events.
Each year, thousands of Westchester residents gather for the festivals, which are held at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla and Ridge Road Park in Hartsdale, that feature ethnic food, music, dance and vendors. The celebrations attract far too many residents to abide by safety guidelines handed down the National Center for Disease Control and New York State, said County Executive George Latimer.
The festivals canceled so far are this Sunday’s Polish Heritage Festival; the Asian Heritage Festival on June 6; the Albanian Heritage Festival on June 7; the Portuguese Heritage Festival on June 7; the Irish Heritage Festival on June 27; the African American Heritage
“These are some of my favorite events to attend, but right now, we all must put safety first,” Latimer said. The cultural heritage series is something many of us look forward to, both to celebrate our own personal heritage or to enjoy learning about the food, music, dance and heritage of other cultures that contribute to the great mosaic of Westchester’s population – things that cannot be done while keeping a safe distance.”
There has been no decision made on the Italian Heritage Festival scheduled for July 19; the Heritage of India Festival on Aug. 2; the Ecuadorian Festival on Aug. 9; the Jewish Heritage Festival on Aug. 16; and the Muslim Heritage Festival on Aug. 23.
The county Parks Department will evaluate the scheduling of all community events throughout the summer and into the fall. Any additional cancellations, postponements or rescheduling will be posted at parks.westchestergov.com.