Bataan Memorial Death March event canceled amid coronavirus concerns

100-year-old Bataan Death March survivor Col. Ben Skardon, a beloved Clemson University alumnus and professor emeritus, walked between 6.5 and 7 miles in the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 25, 2018.


By JACQUELINE DEVINE | Las Cruces Sun-News | Published: March 12, 2020

(Tribune News Service) — The 31st annual Bataan Memorial Death March, which was to be held on Sunday, March 15, at White Sands Missile Range, has been canceled.

The highly anticipated march was expected to draw more than 10,000 participants this year but was canceled after New Mexico's governor declared a public health emergency over the arrival of the COVID-19 virus on Wednesday.

The cancelation of the march includes the cancelation of all associated events, including a country music event featuring country stars Gary Allan and Lee Brice, the various Bataan seminars and panels scheduled to be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center, and the Bataan film showings scheduled on White Sands Missile Range.

Ticket refunds will be available at your point of purchase. Refunds are tentatively scheduled to be available on Monday, March 16, beginning at 9 a.m. (MST). Ticket holders will have 10 business days to request their refund. Please visit bataanmarch.com for more information.

NMSU Special Events Director Scott Breckner told the Sun-News that the Pan American Center is currently in preliminary discussions on canceling other future events at the venue — including the JoJo Siwa concert on Saturday, March 14.

"At this time, we are in preliminary discussion about the JoJo Siwa concert, but unfortunately we don’t have an answer at this point in time," Breckner said.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said to minimize the spread of the virus, the state has canceled or postponed large public events they have control over. They recommend events run by non-state entities or private companies do the same. The governor also recommended New Mexicans refrain from attending public gatherings to limit contact with other people.

Other future events at the Pan American Center include Rage Against The Machine's "Public Service Announcement" tour on March 28 — which was sold out in minutes — the Luke Combs, "What You See, Is What you Get" tour on April 21 and "Jersey Boys" the musical on April 23.

©2020 the Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, N.M.)
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