Summer of nothing: Here are dozens of Boston events not happening because of coronavirus

Costumed marchers assembled on Martin Luther King Boulevard for the city's annual Caribbean Carnival Parade in 2016.
Costumed marchers assembled on Martin Luther King Boulevard for the city's annual Caribbean Carnival Parade in 2016.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak will rob Boston’s late spring and summer of much of its traditional vibrancy, the tastes, sounds, and sights that define the city during the warmest months of the year, with dozens of events being nixed between the start of May and Labor Day, according to a list provided by the city.

Without the Caribbean Carnival Parade, Blue Hill Avenue will undoubtedly be more staid in late August. Mary Hannon Playground will be silent in July when it should be filled with the sounds of the Dudley Jazz Festival. The June roller disco party in Copley Square celebrating the music of Boston native Donna Summer is not happening.


Road races, block parties, and planned celebrations of history, heritage, and community have been scuttled. A Beacon Hill art walk, a Hare Krishna festival on Boston Common, the Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts, North End feasts and processions, all wiped out by the government response to the pandemic. More than 40 public events have been canceled because of COVID-19.

There have been more than 11,000 confirmed novel coronavirus cases among city residents. That caseload included 533 deaths as of Sunday. The outbreak also has decimated the economy, with the national unemployment rate spiking to a staggering 14.7 percent.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Friday announced that parades and festivals in the city were canceled, up to and including Labor Day. The mayor said the city would consider smaller events on a case-by-case basis during the summer. He added that if a summer event brings crowds together in close contact, like a concert, road race, or flag-raising, organizers should start looking at alternatives now.

No one will be issued a permit by the city of Boston for a public event that could draw a large crowd for the time being, according to Walsh’s office. Those who currently have permits for events are being encouraged to reach out to city authorities to talk about postponements or adjustments.


Walsh’s Friday announcement came a half-hour after the Boston Pops said their annual Fourth of July performance at the Esplanade that draws a half-million spectators to the banks of the Charles River was canceled. The live fireworks display that accompanies the concert also was scrapped. That event is perhaps the city’s signature summer celebration.

During a CNN appearance over the weekend, Walsh said, “We will continue to monitor the situation, and adjust if we can, but I think it’s very likely that we are looking at a cap on all events through the summer.”

Here’s a list of some events in Boston between May and Labor Day that have been canceled or rescheduled:

Name Date Location Status
South End Baseball League opening May South End Canceled
SoWa Open Market opening day May South End Postponed
Polish Fest May 3 Dorchester Canceled
Walk for Hunger May 3 Boston Common Canceled
Roosevelt Run 5k, Hyde Park May 5 Hyde Park Canceled
Mother's Day Walk May 10 Roxbury/Dorchester/Downtown - event was moved online, virtual walkathon Moved online
Lilac Sunday May 10 Arboretum Canceled
Boston Pride Parade and Festival May 13 Back Bay/South End/Boston Common Canceled
Mayflower Sails May 14 - 19 Charlestown Canceled
HarpoonFest May 15 - 16 Seaport Canceled
ASCRS Run for Sight May 17 Boston Common Canceled
Haitian American Parade May 20 Mattapan Canceled
Boston Calling May 22- 24 Allston Canceled
Boston Run to Remember May 24 Seaport/Downtown Canceled
Mount Hope Cemetery Memorial Day observance May 25 Mattapan Canceled
Antique Roadshow May 25 Copley Square Canceled
North End Music & Performing Arts Center Perform-a-thon May 30 North End Moved online
Adidas Boost Games May 31 Back Bay Canceled
Unity Peace Festival June Ronan Park Canceled
Haley House Block Party June Roxbury Canceled
Various Italian feasts and processions in the North End June - September North End Canceled
Charlestown Pride Week June 6 - 10 Charlestown Canceled
Dorchester Day Parade June 7 Dorchester Canceled
Beacon Hill Art Walk June 7 Beacon Hill Canceled
Boston Dyke March June 12 Boston Common Canceled
Battle of Bunker Hill Day Parade June 14 Charlestown Canceled
Donna Summer Disco June 19 Copley Square Canceled
John P. McKeon Post Father's Day Road Race June 21 Dorchester Canceled
Father's Day and Families Fun Day, Harambee Park June 21 Mattapan Canceled
JP Morgan Corporate Challenge June 25 Boston Common/Back Bay Postponed
Boston Art & Music Soul Festival June 27 Franklin Park Canceled
Hare Krishna Festival of Chariots June 27 Boston Common Canceled
Dudley Jazz Festival July Mary Hannon Park Canceled
Boston Unity Cup soccer tournament July East Boston Canceled
Boston Harborfest July Downtown/Seaport Canceled
Independence Day Celebration July 4 City Hall Plaza, Faneuil Hall, the Esplanade Canceled
Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts July 24 - 26 City Hall Plaza Canceled
NAACP National Convention July 25 - 29 Boston Postponed
Caribbean Carnival Parade August 29 Blue Hill Ave Canceled
SOURCE: City of Boston

Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.