DC’s Funk Parade canceled amid coronavirus pandemic

Marchers at the 2018 D.C. Funk Parade. (Courtesy Mike Landsman)

The new coronavirus pandemic has claimed one of D.C.’s musical institutions: The annual Funk Parade, which saw a collection of marching bands, bucket drummers and just plain folks on a musical march through the U Street area, has been canceled.

Jeffery Tribble, the executive director of The MusicianShip, the educational nonprofit that organizes the Funk Parade, said in a statement on Tuesday that while the parade was set for May 9 and the public health emergency is set to expire on April 27, “it is difficult for us to continue planning for, and pouring resources into, our annual festival, which may be cancelled due to continuing public health concerns.”

The parade and subsequent music festival requires organizers to put down non-refundable deposits, Tribble said, and the possibility that the emergency would be extended was a risk the organizers couldn’t afford to take.

“Rather than continuing down that path, potentially to our organization’s irreparable detriment, we were forced to make this very difficult decision,” Tribble said in the statement.

“We are, especially, heartbroken for the many artists we were planning to feature in this year’s lineup,” Tribble added, but he vowed the parade would be back in 2021.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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