CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas Jazz Festival is the longest-running free jazz festival in the country. It was set to take place in October, but has been officially canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
The festival can pack people into Heritage Park upwards of 75,000 visitors every fall. Officials ultimately decided that was just too much of a risk to take.
The music sets the mood; the food feeds the soul. The festival hadn't skipped a beat since 1960.
Nick Martinez is the president of the long-standing free festival. He said the decision was a tough one, but they had to put the safety and well being of the fans and the performers first. These performers come down from all parts of the country. They come from places even as far away as Germany to take the stage.
"We got bands coming from all over the place, and it would be hard for them to be here performing for the public and still have to put up with the things we have to do," Martinez said.
The decision came months in advance of the fest, which was set to occur mid-October. Medical experts said their decision to cancel was a very prudent thing to do. The reason? Dr. Salim Surani said there could very well be another wave of coronavirus in the fall, as the flu season also ramps up.
"Anytime you are going to have a big gathering where you can not ensure the physical distancing or insure people complying with the mask, that means you are playing with a fire," Dr. Surani said. "A lot of the people coming from different parts of the county and will bring their infection, and when you have a large gathering it will spread out."
Meanwhile, Martinez said they now have the time to plan for next year to make the event bigger and better.
Other Local Cancellations
- July 4: Mayor's 4th of July Big Bang.
- July 4: Corpus Christi Food Truck Summerfest.
- July 17-19: Aransas Pass Shrimporee canceled.
- October 10: 45th Annual Beach to Bay relay marathon moved to May 15, 2021 more info to follow.
- October 31: No decision on Dia de los Muertos street festival.
- November 6-8: No decision on Corpus Christi Greek Festival.
- November 19-29: Buc Days will review closer to the event.
Nick Martinez joins 3News to discuss the cancellation.