Tempe pulls plug on Ironman, Festival of the Arts due to coronavirus
Nov 14, 2020, 6:30 AM
(Facebook photos/IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona, Tempe Festival of the Arts)
PHOENIX — Two more Valley signature events will not occur in person this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The city of Tempe in a press release Friday said it has not approved the permits for Ironman Arizona or the Tempe Festival of the Arts, both scheduled to occur within the next month, citing increasing coronavirus cases in the state and region.
Tempe’s internal Special Events Task Force declined Ironman Arizona’s special event permit, according to the release, while the Downtown Tempe Authority and the city of Tempe canceled the arts festival before going to the task force for a permit.
The cancellation of the full Ironman comes less than a month after the half Ironman took place, however, the city stated the event was able to proceed because coronavirus numbers were not rising rapidly at the time and that safety procedures were carried out well by the organization and city.
Meanwhile, the Tempe Festival of the Arts event earlier this year was moved online to due to the pandemic.
While both events had posted promotional material on their respective Facebook pages in the past week, Ironman Arizona and Tempe Festival of the Arts have since posted a message regarding the cancellation.
Ironman Arizona announced the event would be back on Nov. 21, 2021, while Tempe Festival of the Arts intends to move forward with another event from March 26 to 28, 2021 with the city in the release promising to support efforts to promote virtual sales to assist artists scheduled to attend the event.
Arizona added 3,000 additional daily coronavirus cases, a number not seen since the end of July, twice this week, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of community spread of the virus, is also trending in the wrong direction at 10%, the highest number in three months.
Arizona has documented 269,577 COVID-19 infections and 6,257 fatalities, as of Friday morning’s update.