For the first time in its 258-year history, the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is being postponed. Governor Andrew Cuomo made the decision to not hold the parade over growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the gathering of large crowds.
In a statement, the governor said, “Today I had several conversations with the organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to determine whether the parade should move forward in light of the evolving coronavirus situation and increased case count in the New York City area. Following those conversations, I recommended and the parade’s leadership agreed to postpone this year’s parade due to the high density and the large volume of marchers and spectators who attend. While I know the parade organizers did not make this decision lightly, public health experts agree that one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade’s leadership for working cooperatively with us. While the risk to New Yorkers remains low and we want to avoid social and economic disruptions, we have an obligation to take action to contain the spread of this virus.”
The good news is, the parade, which has been held every year in New York City since 1762, isn’t being canceled entirely for now. According to Sean Lane, the parade committee chair, “We look forward to celebrating the 259th St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the entire city of New York at a later date.” That later date has not, however, been chosen yet.