A mixture of weather and coronavirus concerns spurred Palm Springs city officials Wednesday to cancel VillegeFest, the city’s weekly Thursday street fair in downtown.
“The health and safety of our residents, businesses and visitors is our top priority,” a city statement reads. “The city of Palm Springs is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation in the Coachella Valley and will immediately update our community with any new developments or the potential cancellation of large-scale events.”
City officials also cited heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast Thursday for the Coachella Valley in announcing the cancellation, and said they were awaiting guidance from county health officials related to the possible cancellation of other large-scale public events.
The announcement came a day after county health officials ordered the cancellation of both the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Stagecoach country music festival that had been set for three weekends next month.
Coachella was rescheduled for Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18, while Stagecoach will be held Oct. 23-25, both at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
The rescheduling of the music festivals, which annually attract thousands of attendees to the Coachella Valley, followed the cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at Indian Wells, which had been scheduled to begin this week.
Three Riverside County residents were recently reported infected with coronavirus on Monday, bumping up the total amount of confirmed cases countywide to six, likely the result of local exposure to the pathogen and not because of overseas travel, the county’s public health officer has said.