The annual Miami Springs River Cities Festival was scheduled to run April 17 through the 19th in downtown Miami Springs. Lots of work had been prepared by all the volunteers involved. Lynne Brooks had scheduled all the performances for the live band performances. Countless hours of planning and preparation by the volunteers who work tirelessly to give you a wonderful three day festival won’t be able to see the fruits of their labor.
The Director of the Festival, Tom Curtiss, announced last night at the Miami Springs City Council Meeting that he was planning on canceling this year’s event due to fears over the Coronavirus. He also mentioned he was having some trouble with the closing of Canal Street, but make no mistake, this Festival was canceled due to concerns over the Coronavirus.
This is not an easy decision for any organization, but it’s not the first event or the last event to be canceled due to the Coronavirus or COVID-19. As you know, the City of Miami canceled the Ultra Music Festival and Calle Ocho. In both of those cases, the decision was made by the City of Miami. In the case of the River Cities Festival, the decision was made by the Festival Director, Tom Curtiss, after much discussion with the Festival Committee.
We posed the question yesterday on social media and by in large, most people felt the show must go on. Many residents chimed in that wash stations and hand sanitization stations should be added, but keep the Festival going. A small minority had suggested that the Festival be canceled.
We know that Tom Curtiss did not take this decision lightly and erred on the side of caution and safety and while we’re disappointed the Festival is canceled, we cannot criticize the decision.
We have a different point of view. We believe the risks still remain very low of contracting COVID-19. I know that everyone is being very careful with touching and hand washing. We believe that there is a big economic impact coming from the cumulative effect of all the cancelations of conferences, shows, etc.
Miami-Dade County is still scheduled to open the Youth Fair. Disney World is still open for business. Restaurants are still open. Again, as we stated yesterday, there are risks in everything we do. (Especially every time we take a drive in a car.)
People who are afraid of contracting the virus should stay away from large crowds. But life must go on.
Again, it’s just a different point of view. We know that Tom Curtiss is more upset about canceling the event than anyone else. He works hard every year to put the festival together and we look forward to the return of the Festival next year.
Here’s a look back at the 2019 River Cities Festival…packed with people of all ages having a great time. There was a ton of food, friends, and fun.
Salsa night was loads of fun with dancing along canal street with entertainment provided by longtime festival entertainer, DJ WiWi.
Trampolines, rock climbing, zip lines, rides, fun houses, slides and more. The festival offered tons of fun for all the kids.
Walkthrough tour of the Festival including folks jamming to the live performers.
Rock Climbing Challenge
In a world where kids are constantly glued to their digital devices, the physical challenges of rock climbing proved to be popular with kids of all ages.
JEEPS, DANCERS, FOOD
Festival Fun: Take a tour of the 2018 festival:
Father Alfaro performing at the River Cities Festival.
Salsa Dancing at the Festival.
Tito Puente Jr. performing LIVE in Miami Springs.