The November powerboat races in Key West are canceled.
“I received word from race organizers today that this year’s powerboat races are canceled,” Key West City Manager Greg Veliz told city commissioners at their Aug. 4 meeting.
The 2020 Race World Offshore Key West Championships had been scheduled for Nov. 8-15 at the city’s Truman Waterfront.
“Race World Offshore is incredibly saddened to cancel the 2020 Race World Offshore Key West Championships,” the event website states. “We have been closely monitoring the situation and after much consideration, have decided that this is what’s best for the offshore racing community … as a precaution to protect our teams, fans, and the city of Key West. This is not a decision we made lightly, but the health and safety of our fans are our primary concern.
RWO is continuing to monitor and work with Clearwater officials.”
Next year’s Key West races are scheduled for Nov. 7-14, 2021.
Also at their Aug. 4 meeting, city commissioners voted unanimously to cancel all city events requiring a special event permit through 2020. Prior decisions had canceled events through Fantasy Fest in late October.
The latest decision will affect the Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11; the Key West Business Guild’s rescheduled Pride events Nov. 21 and 22; the Key West Triathlon on Dec. 5; the holiday tree and menorah lighting on Nov. 30 and the Christmas parade on Dec. 5.
“In all fairness to the city and event organizers, it was time for us to make a decision,” Veliz said. “Obviously, no one wants to forgo Veterans Day or the holiday events, but with the current landscape, it wouldn’t be responsible for us to plan to bring people together like this.”
Commissioner Sam Kaufman suggested perhaps Veterans Day can be recognized with something other than a parade. And Commissioner Clayton Lopez acknowledged that social distancing simply would not be possible at the popular Christmas parade.
The commission voted unanimously to cancel the events, and to prohibit further applications for special event permits from the city. Veliz pledged to continue to monitor the situation and consider potential safe alternatives for the holidays.
In other city news, the commission agreed to ask state transportation officials to make the temporary traffic light at U.S. 1 and College Road north on Stock Island a permanent one to better enable left turns. The temporary light has been installed during the Cow Key Bridge construction.