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Rockettes cancel 'Christmas Spectacular' due to COVID-19

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The iconic Rockettes dance company has announced that the coronavirus has forced them to cancel the remainder of their shows this year. 

“We regret that we are unable to continue the Christmas Spectacular this season due to increasing challenges from the pandemic,” the group said in a statement Friday. “We had hoped we could make it through the season and are honored to have hosted hundreds of thousands of fans at more than 100 shows over the last seven weeks. We have loved bringing back this cherished tradition that helps usher in the holiday season in New York City and look forward to welcoming fans back to Radio City Music Hall in 2022.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 30: Radio City Rockettes perform at the 89th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Pre-Tape at Rockefeller Center on November 30, 2021 in New York City. 
(Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Ticket holders will receive refunds for the canceled shows, MSG Entertainment says but some on social media have expressed frustration with the late notice and poor communication. 

FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005, file photo, the Rockettes perform during the Celebration of Freedom Concert on the Ellipse, with the White House in the background in Washington. The Radio City Rockettes have been assigned to dance at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration January 2017.
(The Associated Press)

“As of right now I haven’t gotten an email even letting me know that they canceled,” Allie Reitnauer, who had two tickets to the Saturday night show, told Fox News. “I just saw the post on social media.”

Reitnauer says she is traveling to the show from Massachusetts, and she can’t cancel her hotel at this point since her stay is within 24 hours. Additionally, she says her 11-year-old daughter who loves dancing and dances 4.5 hours a week took the coronavirus vaccine so she would be able to attend the show, only to have it canceled. 

“The lack of communication is what’s sad,” Reitnauer said. “They turned off comments so you couldn’t ask any questions on the initial closure post.”

It is only the second time since 1933 that the Rockettes have canceled a season early and the announcement comes as the omicron variant is spreading through New York City and the rest of the country.

A healthcare worker administers a nasal swab Covid-19 test at mobile testing site in the Times Square neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Five months after President Joe Biden declared the U.S. to be on the verge of defeating Covid-19, the virus threatens a winter resurgence across the country with the omicron variant threatening to fuel an already high case count.
(Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Social media reacted quickly.

While only a few cases of the omicron variant have been confirmed so far in the city, federal health officials are estimating that it already accounts for around 13% of virus cases in the region that includes New York and New Jersey.

New York state reported nearly 18,300 new cases of the virus Wednesday, the third-highest total for any single day since COVID-19 tests became widely available to the public in the spring of 2020. Nearly 83,000 people have tested positive in the seven-day period that ended Wednesday, the most for any such period since last January.

Fox News’ Breck Dumas and Associated Press contributed to this report

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