Richmond Hill’s 32nd Annual Phagwah Parade postponed amid concerns of coronavirus

Photo by Josef Pinlac

The 32nd Annual Phagwah Parade in Richmond Hill scheduled for Sunday, March 22, has been postponed until further notice amid growing concerns about the coronavirus. 

“The Organizing Committee of the 32nd Annual Phagwah Parade has been closely monitoring the cases of COVID-19 within New York City, and its environs,” said Herman Singh, co-chair of the committee. “Today, the members of the Committee conducted another assessment of the situation relating to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and decided to postpone the Phagwah Parade to a later date in the year.” 

While Phagwah, or Holi, was observed on March 9, the Richmond Hill community had planned to celebrate the holiday later in the month. 

Known as the biggest street festival in Queens, The Phagwah Parade has attracted large crowds from New York tri-state communities and beyond over the last 31 years. It has acquired a unique identity and is regarded as an important event in the city’s cultural calendar.  

Preceded by a parade, the full celebration at Phil Rizzuto Park is the scene of the “Festival of Colors” where revelers douse one another with bright powder, listen to music, dance and enjoy free food. 

“The top priority of the committee is the safety and well-being of everyone in the community and going ahead with the parade, as planned, would jeopardize the health of our supporters and the entire New York City,” said Herman Singh, co-chair of the Organizing Committee. “We urge everyone to follow the advice of the health authorities and be safe.” 

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