For the second straight year, the Ragamuffin Parade has been canceled due to the rise of COVID-19’s Delta variant.
It joins the Coney Island Mermaid Parade and the West Indian Day Parade as large-scale outdoor events that have been canceled since Wednesday, Aug. 18.
The Ragamuffin Committee has also postponed this year’s Ragamuffin Luncheon, which raises funds for the popular Bay Ridge event aimed toward children.
“This decision does not come lightly, however, we need to be vigilant in the protection of our community and especially our children,” the committee said in a statement. “Our parade draws thousands of children, and most are under the age of 12, who are rapidly increasing in number of cases of this virus.”
The fall parade typically attracts hundreds of kids dressed in their most creative costumes as they march along Third Avenue. Adults also enjoy the music and the celebration of local pride.
“It was a tough decision, but with good leadership by [Committee] President Rose Gangi, the committee did the responsible thing,” said Chuck Otey, Ragamuffin Parade committee member. “We can’t do anything to endanger our kids especially because, as [founder of the parade] Cliff Scanlon always said, ‘Ragamuffin is for the kids.’”
The committee hopes to continue its tradition, which is more than 50 years old, next year.
“It will not keep us down,” the statement continued. “We promise our parade will be back, and we will create so many more ‘Miles of Smiles’ for many more years.”