As Ohio works toward lifting its stay at home mandate, Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said allowing large gatherings will be among the last steps taken in a return to normal. That's leading to the postponement or cancellation of many concerts, festivals and other events originally scheduled for this summer.
In Akron, Lock 3 will not host major gatherings this summer. But Deputy Mayor James Hardy, who runs the city's Office for Integrated Development, say smaller events may still take place.
"It will be necessary for the city to put in place public health protocols for programming that does occur this summer, including wearing cloth masks and achieving good social distancing," Hardy said in a press release. "We want to give our staff, performers and fans timely information so they know what to expect and how to plan."
The city of Akron has postponed all of the following events this year:
- All City-sponsored events with an expected attendance of 250 or more, scheduled before September 7, 2020.
- Friday Night Rock the Lock Series
- Lock 3 Saturday Night Concerts
- Lock 3 Festivals, including Kids Festival (would have been held June 20); Rib, White and Blue (would have been held July 1-4); Italian Festival (would have been held July 9-11); African American Festival (would have been held July 18-19); Taste of Ireland (would have been held August 8); Pizza Festival (would have been held September 4-6)
- The annual Akron Arts Expo (would have been held July 23-26).
- Sunday Akron Symphony Orchestra concerts
The city is exploring safe ways to host the following events, but has not yet made a final decision:
- Late Night Basketball
- Lock 4 Blues and Jazz
- Lock 4 Gospel
- Lock 3 Beer Tasting
- Lock 3 Movies
- Cascade Food Trucks
- Summer Concert Series in the Park
- Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival
The city says it will make decisions about these events based on public health guidance and the availability of financial resources as well as staff and personal protective equipment.
Mayor Dan Horrigan said his priority is maintaining access for recreational areas like parks, playgrounds and pools, as safely as possible for as long as possible.
"Our urgent hope is to find a safe and healthy way to host smaller community events, where individuals can practice social distancing and access proper hygiene resources." Horrigan said.
Horrigan said close-quarters events like Lock 3 concerts and festivals "present too great a risk to the health of Akronites at this time."