Coronavirus cancels DC-area events, including Cherry Blossom parade

As the new coronavirus outbreak continues to impact people around the world, a number of D.C.-area events and venues are taking steps to slow the spread of the virus, either by canceling or postponing events until further notice.

Here’s the latest from around the region:

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National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 11 has been canceled.

Here are the other changes related to the festival:

  • March 20 — The “Pink Tie Party” is postponed. The silent auction fundraiser will still take place online.
  • March 21 — The opening ceremony will not take place as planned at the Warner Theatre, and is looking to possibly livestream the event.
  • March 28 — The Blossom Kite Festival is canceled.
  • April 4 — Sakura Matsuri-Japanese Street festival has been postponed.
  • April 5 — Anacostia River Festival has been rescheduled for Aug. 9.
  • And the Tidal Basin Welcome Area is canceled.

Museums/music venues/libraries

  • Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will temporarily close to the public March 14 until further notice.
  • Mount Vernon is closed to visitors from March 14 to March 31.
  • The 9:30 Club, Lincoln Theatre and The Anthem, as well as “9:30 Club Presents” shows at U Street Music Hall, will postpone shows for the remainder of March.
  • Performances and public events at the Kennedy Center are canceled through March 31.
  • Sixth & I will postpone, cancel or stream events through March 31.
  • Ford’s Theatre canceled the March 13 free first preview performance of “Guys and Dolls” but  the March 14 showing will continue as planned. Performances from March 16-April 4 are canceled and performances are tentatively scheduled to resume April 6. The theater also canceled History on Foot waking tours March 21-April 4 and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Symposium on March 21.
  • Round House Theater has postponed its April performances of “Cost of Living” until September. All theater education programs will be suspended through April 3.
  • The National Philharmonic at Strathmore canceled the Mozart Requiem concert scheduled for March 21.
  • Libraries around the region are also taking measures to respond to the outbreak. Calvert Library is canceling all library events and meeting room use starting March 14, and will close its buildings starting March 16. Anne Arundel County Public Library has also closed its locations through March 29.
  • Signature Theatre is canceling all performances and events beginning March 13 through March 30. In addition, the Sondheim Award Gala honoring Carol Burnett will be postponed for June 29.
  • The Washington Monument will close temporarily starting March 14, the National Park Service said.
  • Beginning Saturday, March 14, the Marine Corps Museum will be closed.
  • Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, will be closed through the end of March, the theme park announced on Twitter.

Worship services

  • The Washington National Cathedral and other Episcopal churches in the D.C. area are closed for two weeks, starting March 12.
  • The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will suspend the public celebration of Mass and there will be no scheduled Confessions effective Saturday, March 14, until further notice, as directed by the Archdiocese of Washington.
  • Adas Israel has closed their building and all operations through March 29.
  • Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington said that masses open to the public in all parishes, missions and ministries will not be celebrated starting Saturday, March 14 until further notice. Weddings and funerals may proceed but attendance should be limited to immediate family. Gregory has also issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend mass to the archdiocese’s parishioners during this time.
  • The The Catholic Diocese of Arlington announced that public celebration of all masses in the diocese is suspended until further notice.

Outdoor events

  • St. Pat’s Run Fest in Arlington, Virginia, is canceled. It was set to run March 14-15.
  • Though the National Cherry Blossom Festival has not been entirely canceled, a number of events during its first week (March 20-28) have been canceled.

Arlington Cemetery

The cemetery is closed to visitors effective March 13, although funerals will continue as scheduled. The cemetery tweeted further instructions.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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