PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Organizers of a popular festival in Pittsburgh are still hoping to stage their event this year despite the coronavirus.

Every August, Bloomfield hosts four days of ethnic food, music and fun. But this year’s Little Italy Days have been put on hold because of the coronavirus.

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Organizer Sal Richetti says the event is now tentatively planned for October in conjunction with the Columbus Day Parade.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The event normally attracts thousands of people to a half-mile section of Liberty Avenue every August. But the Columbus Day Parade is likely to draw unwanted controversy for Little Italy Days.

“We might not be able to pull it off. But we are going to be hopeful, just like our president is. We are hopeful that things lighten up in October and we can have the event,” said Richetti.

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Last year, protesters handed out fake leaflets that said the parade was canceled and attempted to commandeer the parade with their own anti-Columbus banners. Richetti’s not concerned.

“You’re always going to have somebody say it is not for everybody,” Richetti said. “This is celebrating our Italian heritage and supporting Bloomfield businesses.”

Earlier this week, the Christopher Columbus Statue in Schenley Park was vandalized for the second time.

KDKA was unable to reach the ant-racism group What’s Up Pittsburgh about plans for a Columbus Day Parade, but this is what a spokesperson for the group said last year.

“By honoring Columbus, we are not telling the true story of him, setting in motion, the transAtlantic slave trade and a massive genocide of native people,” said Kalen Tierney.

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But based on the number of coronavirus cases in Allegheny County, it would be highly unlikely that the events would get approval from the city, county and state.