Update: Colonial Downs is closing its Rosie’s gaming emporiums in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent County and Roanoke County until Monday, March 30 “in an abundance of caution” amid state and national concerns about the coronavirus.

Colonial Downs Group said it is following social distancing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Gov. Ralph Northam’s health directives for all Virginians.

“While there are no known COVID-19 cases impacting anyone associated with any Rosie’s location, the safety of our team and our customers is our top priority,” said Aaron Gomes, chief operating officer for Colonial Downs Group. “As we have continued to monitor the situation, our action complies with federal and state guidance and is the right thing to do as a preventative measure.”

Colonial Downs Group said Rosie’s employees will be paid in full for this two-week period and that employee paychecks, paid time off and benefits will not be affected.

Most museums in the area have also announced closures, as well as other venues and organizations. Updates are added below. 

Original story posted March 13, 2020:

The arts and entertainment scene is taking a hit from the coronavirus. So are local attractions and institutions.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts says it will close until March 28 or later. The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia and the Children's Museum of Richmond also will close for about two weeks. The Science Museum of Virginia, The American Civil War Museum, The Virginia Museum of History & Culture, The Valentine and the Virginia Holocaust Museum will also close for two weeks.

The Richmond Public Library is closing all its locations through March 30.

The Richmond Greek Festival, typically held in late May, will move to late August.

Something in the Water, the popular annual music festival in Virginia Beach hosted by hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams, has been called off for the year. It had been set to take place in April.

Concert halls and performing arts venues like The National in Richmond and The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell are closing with no firm reopening date.

On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and advised against large gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier that day, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney released a statement urging organizers of large events in the city to cancel or postpone them.

Big-name events including Shamrock the Block, St. Paddy’s Palooza and the Monument Avenue 10K soon followed.

On Friday, even more venues announced they were postponing or canceling events.

Kings Dominion announced that it will postpone its park opening to April 4. Busch Gardens near Williamsburg also announced that it would delay its opening and remain closed through the end of March.

The National has decided to close until notified by local health authorities when to reopen. The Beacon Theatre will be closed until it’s deemed safe to reopen.

The Modlin Center for the Arts has canceled all events through March 30. The Broadberry has also canceled or postponed all shows from now until March 20.

The Altria Theater and the Dominion Energy Center are not officially closing — several events, including Celtic Woman on Sunday, MasterChef Junior Live on March 21 and Baby Shark Live on May 16 — are postponed. Both venues are managed by ASM Richmond, which says their business model is unique compared with other local venues.

“As the host venue, the decision to cancel/postpone is not up to us. Per our contract with each promoter, we are obligated to host the event unless they decide to cancel or postpone. We cannot make that determination, which puts us in a difficult situation in the case of something like the coronavirus or other public health emergency,” said Tim Miller, director of sales and marketing.

The Virginia Rep is cancelling or suspending productions at various venues such as the November Theatre, and the Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn.

Virginia Opera’s performance of “Aida” in late March has been postponed. The annual French Film Festival, which was set for later this month, will resume next year. The RVA Street Art Festival has been moved from April to September.

Firehouse Theatre has canceled all public events until April 5. The Visual Arts Center of Richmond has decided to close through April 5. 1708 Gallery will be closed through March 29. St. John’s Church in Church Hill will be closed to the public for tours, programs and worship through March 25.

Most organizers said they were deciding to cancel, close or postpone events out of concern for public safety and were acting under the governor’s call to limit large social gatherings.

VMFA Director Alex Nyerges said in a statement late Friday: “Because the well-being of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and community is our top priority, the museum has now decided to close to the public for the next two weeks.” While the VMFA is closed, “all classes, programs, events, and tours are either postponed or canceled.”

Organizers for the Richmond Greek Festival announced their decision to postpone the annual festival, which typically draws 30,000 people to Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, on their Facebook page.

“As the coronavirus continues to evolve, we are thinking of the health and safety of our patrons, neighbors and cathedral family,” organizers said.

Many bars and restaurants are still planning smaller-scale St. Patrick’s Day festivities this weekend, as of this writing. As of Friday evening, St. Patrick’s-themed festivities were still planned at Starr Hill Richmond Beer Hall & Rooftop at 3406 W. Leigh St. and O’Toole’s at 4800 Forest Hill Ave. Siné Irish Pub, at 3406 W. Leigh St., has decided to downsize its St. Patrick’s street party on Saturday and move it indoors. All venues recommend checking their Facebook pages before heading out to make sure events are still on.

Here's the list of big arts and entertainment events that have been postponed, cancelled or temporarily closed in the Richmond and surrounding areas:

March 18-22: James River Film Fest has been canceled.

March 18-22: Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville canceled.

March 21: Richmond SPCA Dog Jog and 5K run has been canceled.

March 21-22: Irish Festival in Church Hill postponed.

March 24: Michelle Obama at the Richmond Forum has been postponed.

March 26-29: French Film Festival postponed until March 25-28, 2021.

March 27 & 29: Virgina Opera’s performance of “Aida” has been postponed.

March 28: Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K postponed to Sept. 26.

March 28: Kings Dominion is postponing its opening date to April 4.

April 16-18: RVA Street Art Festival has been moved to Sept. 25-27.

May 28-May 31: The Richmond Greek Festival has been postponed until Aug. 27-30.


(804) 649-6151

Twitter: @collcurran

Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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