The Panthers Pride Rally scheduled for Friday afternoon in Romare Bearden Park has been canceled because of the possibility of bad weather.
The rally was expected to have attracted 3,000-5,000 attendees, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said, and several Panthers players were scheduled to make appearances. This would have been the first pep rally to be held in the uptown park.
Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday declared a state of emergency for North Carolina ahead of the storm that’s expected to hit the Charlotte region early Friday, possibly bringing nearly half an inch of ice. A winter storm warning is in effect for nearly the entire region from midnight Thursday to 7 p.m. Saturday.
“The potential impacts of the winter weather that is forecast to affect Charlotte during the day on Friday presents safety concerns for the public,” said Adam Rhew, director of communications for Charlotte Center City Partners, which was producing the rally along with the Panthers and Bank of America.
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On Wednesday, City Manager Ron Carlee declared the rally an “extraordinary event,” which is defined as a large-scale event of national or international significance that merits increased security.
In lieu of the rally, Charlotte Center City Partners is encouraging fans to show support for the team by posting Panthers-related photos, videos and messages on social media using the hashtag #BlackFriday. The Panthers will share selected posts on the team’s social media pages.
The Carolina Panthers face the Arizona Cardinals in a playoff game Sunday at 6:40 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium. This is the first time Charlotte has hosted a NFC Championship game.
The game-day forecast calls for a high of 46 and no precipitation.