PORTLAND, Ore. — The Return of the Jinkx and Dela Holiday Show, scheduled for late December at the Newmark Theatre in Downtown Portland, has been canceled. Show staffers said the fast-spreading omicron variant — and several company members testing positive for COVID-19 — are to blame for the cancellation.
"The show has canceled its entire tour," said Robyn Williams, Executive Director of Portland'5 Centers for the Arts. Williams said she hoped the show's cancellation is not a sign of things to come.
"We've come out of the last 18 months in pretty bad financial shape having lost all of our business for so long and things were looking good for us," Williams said. "We have a lot of shows on the books."
A lot of games are on the books at Moda Center, as well, but Thursday night's match-up between the Blazers and the Brooklyn Nets has been postponed. The Nets have been decimated by COVID and currently do not have enough non-quarantined players to meet the league-required minimum of eight.
The Portland Bridal Show, scheduled for January 22 and 23 at the the nearby Oregon Convention Center, has also been canceled.
"The business person in me says, yeah let's get back to life as normal, I can use the revenue," said Dwayne Thomas, founder and president of Live Events Coalition Oregon Chapter. "The moral person in me says, let's not do that, let's not make this worse."
Philip Mason-Joyner, Public Health Director at Clackamas County Health, said he appreciates that event organizers are assessing and reevaluating plans. He is encouraging the general public to do the same.
"Keeping your gathering small is great," he said. "To have good communication with one another, be open and honest about how you're feeling, if someone doesn't feel well, stay home, that's critical."
The same is being asked of people venturing into Portland's many theatres, where at least one show is already canceled. The hope is that the cancellations end there.
"Our plan is to keep operating the way we have with the mask requirement, the vaccination or testing requirement," Williams said. "We feel right now the evidence says that's good protection for people and we can continue to do events safely."