Organizers cancel 2020 Solano Stroll in Albany and Berkeley

The East Bay's largest annual festival, the Solano Stroll in Albany and Berkeley, has been canceled due to concerns over the novel coronavirus health emergency, organizers announced.

The event is an East Bay tradition started in 1974 and annually attracts an estimated 250,000 to the Solano Avenue business district in the two cities.

The Solano Avenue Association, the business group that organizes the event, said the cancellation was a joint decision by both cities in consultation with the Alameda County Health Department. 

"We take this step for the safety of everyone who enjoys and participates in the stroll: our festival guests, the performers, and off-Solano vendors, the on-Solano Avenue businesses, their staff, the staff of the cities of Albany and Berkeley, the staff of the police and fire departments that are crucial to the event; and many, many more people involved in the production of the Solano Avenue Stroll," the association said in an announcement.

"The worldwide pandemic has proven to be a perfect storm of calamity that makes it impossible to safely hold large events while devastating the businesses our event is designed to help," the association said. "We recognize the loss of human life that has resulted from this pandemic and are trying to do everything we can to avoid contributing to the spread of this infectious disease. We are hopeful for a 2021 Solano Avenue Stroll."