A Chinese New Year Festival in Miami was cancelled over coronavirus concerns, organizers said.
“Due to the worldwide concerns regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and our concern for the welfare and benefit of all our visitors, vendors, exhibitors, and sponsors, the 2020 Festival Committee has cancelled the 2020 Chinese New Year Festival,” organizers posted on Facebook.
The organization took a softer tone on its website.
“In order to stand with our global family throughout Asia—especially China, we regret to announce that the 2020 Chinese New Year Festival has been cancelled,” organizers wrote. “We will be back in 2021 to celebrate the Year of the Ox.”
In an interview with the Miami New Times, organizer Peter Liu had another take — falling attendance.
“We’re not afraid of corona — to heck with it,” Liu told The New Times. “The problem is if attendance falls off because it’s a Chinese New Year festival, I have placed all our vendors at a financial risk.”
Chinese Cultural Foundation Inc., which organized the festival, had originally scheduled to event for Feb. 16 at a Miami Dade College campus in Kendall.
The event was expected to include “exotic asian food” and cultural shows — including acrobats, dance groups and musicians — as well as events for children.
In a Facebook post on Jan. 9, organizers tried to quell growing fears of the coronavirus.
“Please be advised that all of our performers, exhibitors, and vendors are local!” the organization wrote.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Queens’ Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar, one of the largest celebrations in NYC, cancelled its event in Flushing over coronavirus concerns. Other smaller events have also been cancelled or postponed, the outlet reported.
China has finally started to accept outside help — as some 35,000 patients have been infected within its borders causing the death-toll to spiral past the death toll for SARS.