Juneteenth still moving forward
VFW Post 1123 postpones events
A day after the Northern California Pirate Festival was officially canceled this year, organizers of the Vallejo’s annual Juneteenth Celebration said that their event is scheduled to be held.
Citing the recent COVID-19 outbreak and passage of Assembly Bill 5, which requires companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees, officials with the pirate festival made the decision to skip the festival this year.
Both the pirate festival and Juneteenth Celebration are held on the third weekend in June. Juneteenth is an annual event marking African American freedom from slavery.
In a statement released Wednesday, Rachelle Jackson, president of the African American Family Reunion Committee, which puts on the annual celebration, said the committee is “closely monitoring the updates and following guidelines from lo
cal, state and federal public health agencies.”
Events throughout the country have either been postponed or cancelled as COVID-19 continues to spread.
“At this time, the Juneteenth celebration will be held as scheduled,” she added. “However, we stand ready to make any appropriate changes to avoid compromising a safe environment for our visitors, vendors and exhibitors.”
Mike Spanos, president and CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, issued a statement stating that the corporation is “closely monitoring the latest developments and following the guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).”
Spanos said Six Flags has hired an infectious disease specialist to serve as an adviser, while also disinfecting all areas of the parks.
“We have significantly enhanced our cleaning and sanitation efforts on all guest and employee touch points; additionally, we are providing an abundance of anti-bacterial soap in all hand-washing stations, and have placed dozens of alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout all areas of the parks,” he added. “Finally, we are frequently cleaning and disinfecting all ride vehicles, queue lines, restrooms, food locations and employee break areas.”
Spanos said the company’s 19 theme parks have “increased hygiene signage throughout our parks and are strongly encouraging guests and employees to practice good hygiene with frequent and rigorous hand washing.”
Also on Wednesday, Vallejo’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Karl H. Kreh Post 1123 announced that its St. Patrick’s Day dinner, scheduled for Monday, has been postponed due to the coronavirus.
“There has been a lot of information about this virus in the last few days,” the same announcement states. “Due to the age profile of our members we are taking this action to keep us all safe.”
The post also announced the postponement of its National Vietnam War Veterans Day commemoration, which had been set for March 29.
While most COVID-19 patients fully recover and don’t become seriously ill, these recommendations are being issued to slow the spread and further protect the most vulnerable:
Stay away from crowded social gatherings as much as possible, such as parades, conferences, sporting events and concerts where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.
People in high-risk categories are defined as those older than 60, with risk escalating with age; those older than 80 are in the highest-risk group; and, regardless of age, people with underlying health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, severely weakened immune systems, diabetes, cancer, heart disease or chronic lung diseases like COPD.
The East Bay Times contributed to this report.
The Omega Jet Steppers perform during the 2019 Juneteenth celebration at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Vallejo.