City officials announced today that this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade will be postponed until next year after it was originally temporarily delayed last month over concerns about a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Our city continues to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King in the everyday work we do as a community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “While there won’t be a parade celebration this year as we continue to make decisions that keep people safe, I’m looking forward to a great celebration next year and for many years to come.”

The event was first pushed back last month with the intent to still hold the 34th annual parade on an unspecified date. To limit the spread of the omicron variant, officials instead decided to honor Dr. King by presenting last year’s recording of the Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Day of Celebration and Service on Long Beach Television.

Normally, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade is put on in January in an effort to “celebrate the profound life and legacy of Dr. King,” Councilwoman Suely Saro said in a statement today.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances leading to this postponement, we look forward to this event returning next year with new enhancements that will enrich this great celebration,” she said.

With the parade being postponed, it means that the Long Beach City Council will vote on whether to add this year’s funding to next year’s budget. If city officials approve to reallocate the funding, it would allow for additional features and amenities, such as paid entertainment, officials said.

You can still watch, engage and give back this MLK day—here’s how