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Ireland is cancelling all St. Patrick’s Day parades this year. Will cities in the United States follow suit?

Ireland announced they are cancelling all St. Patrick’s Day celebrations due to coronavirus, and cities like Boston and Denver are also cancelling their scheduled festivities.

SHARE Ireland is cancelling all St. Patrick’s Day parades this year. Will cities in the United States follow suit?
Revelers gather for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Tuesday in New York.

Revelers gather for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York.

Frank Franklin II, Associated Press

St. Patrick’s Day is usually a time to celebrate all things Irish, but this year, Ireland won’t be participating with the usual parades and fanfare.

Because of the continued spread of the coronavirus, Ireland announced on Monday that parades, festivals and other public celebrations of the holiday would be cancelled, according to BBC News.

Last year, about 500,000 people attended the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, BBC reported.

“Due to the unique nature and scale of the St Patrick’s Day festivities, in terms of size, the mass gathering of local and international travelers, and the continued progression of community transmission in some European countries, along with the emergence of a small number of cases of local transmission in Ireland, the Government has decided that St Patrick’s Day parades, including the Dublin parade, will not proceed,” the Irish government said in a statement, according to CNN.

There are currently 21 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland, USA Todayreported.

Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has not been cancelled since 2001, which was caused by fears surrounding foot and mouth disease, according to USA Today.

Priest Bill Daley, who is also the director of the University of Notre Dame’s Newman Center for Faith & Reason in Dublin, told the Washington Post that St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is like the Fourth of July in the United States. Because of this, the cancellations are “momentous, reflecting how seriously people are taking” the coronavirus, Daley told the Post.

Coronavirus in the United States

While many cities in the United States are planning on continuing with their St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivities, some have made the decision to cancel parades because of concerns about the coronavirus, according to USA Today.

  • Boston has cancelled its St. Patrick’s Day parade that was scheduled to take place on March 15 “out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy,” Mayor Marty Walsh wrote on Twitter, according to The Hill.
  • San Francisco is cancelling its parade as part of a city-wide ban on group events that include over fifty people, the LA Times reported.
  • Denver announced on Tuesday that it would be cancelling its St. Patrick’s Day parade which was scheduled for March 14, according to the Denver Post.
  • However, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City have all confirmed that their St. Patrick’s Day parades are still planned to take place this weekend as scheduled, according to the Washington Post.