The North American Irish Dance Championships 2020 were due to be hosted in Nashville in July

The North American Irish Dance Championships (NAIDC) have officially been canceled this year due to coronavirus. The massive event was set to be hosted at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee from July 2 - 6.

The annual event, which runs solo, ceili, traditional set piece, and dance drama competitions, draws competitive Irish dancers from all over the world. It falls under An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the oldest and largest competitive Irish dance organization in the world, and is considered a secondary qualifying event for CLRG's annual World Irish Dancing Championships.

Read More: World Irish Dance Championships canceled amid coronavirus

A notice of the cancellation was shared the event's Facebook page and website on Wednesday, April 29:

4.29.2020 NAIDC UPDATE

Publiée par North American Irish Dance Championships July 2-6 2020 sur Mercredi 29 avril 2020

The letter, signed by this year’s committee co-chairs Maureen Dillon Yawger TCRG, Heather McClanahan Ackerman ADCRG, Cormac O’Shea TCRG, and Allison Weber Erickson, reads:

“On behalf of the Mid-America Region, we are sad to share that the 2020 NAIDC has been canceled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement probably comes as no surprise with all the developments over the last few months but we still held out hope that it might be possible to move forward. Unfortunately, it is impossible to hold this event with the worldwide restrictions relating to stay-at-home orders, mass gatherings, and social distancing.

"As you might imagine, we have considered all options for the NAIDC with one of them being postponing the competition to a future date. However, it is far too soon to evaluate whether postponement would be a viable option with the ongoing pandemic. The overall atmosphere of Irish dancing competitions we know and love don’t typically allow for much social distancing, but in fact, the exact opposite so it’s challenging to see how an event this size could occur within the current restrictions and environment.

“For all attendees who booked within the contracted NAIDC [hotel] block,be assured that you will receive a full room deposit refund for your reservation.

  • Individual room deposit refunds are being handled by each hotel’s accounting department and will be refunded automatically.
  • Please note that there remains a back-log because of staffing constraints, so the process of returning individual deposits may take a few weeks.

“Thank you for your support and patience as we made the best decision possible for our community. We look forward to being together soon to celebrate Irish dancing!”

Read More: Irish dancers kept St. Patrick's Day alive online this year

The North American Irish Dance Championships is held annually in North America over the first week of July and is hosted by each region within IDTANA on a rotational basis. This year, the Mid-America Region, comprised of CLRG Irish dance schools in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, were the designated hosts.

According to IDTANA, "The NAIDC is one of the premier Irish dance competitions worldwide and it is considered a secondary Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne (World Irish Dancing Championships) qualifier for those dancers residing in North America."

The announcement to cancel the NAIDC comes after competitive Irish dance organizations An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), An Chomhdhail, World Irish Dance Association (WIDA), and Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa (CRDM) all canceled their World Championships which were scheduled for April this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More: CLRG announces new date for World Irish Dance Championships