ASBURY PARK — The 30th annual edition of New Jersey's LGBTQ+ Pride Celebration has been moved from this October to next June, a decision made by organizers citing the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and a "non-trivial" percentage of the population refusing COVID vaccines.

A Facebook post by the Jersey Pride Festival said that Jersey Pride, Inc., did not take rescheduling the event for June 5, 2022 lightly, doing so even after determining to require vaccinations or negative tests for all in attendance, according to president Laura Pople.

Pople said although organizers had already anticipated a more modest celebration than they would have liked for a 30th anniversary, the potential for a superspreader event — plus the withdrawal of several scheduled participants — convinced them to arrive at this "heartbreaking" conclusion.

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The October date had been selected to coincide with National Coming Out Day, which is observed annually on Oct. 11.

Reaction to the Facebook post and announcement was mixed.

"Sad, but clearly a well considered and sound decision," one commenter wrote.

"But every other festival ... is going on and every other concert," said another. "So frustrating."

The 2020 Pride Celebration was held virtually last June 7.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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