BOROUGHWIDE– Irish eyes were certainly not smiling on Thursday, March 12, as two of Brooklyn’s most highly anticipated St. Patrick’s Day Parades were officially cancelled due to coronavirus fears.
This happened after Gov. Cuomo announced on Wednesday that organizers of New York’s. Patrick’s Day Parade had agreed to postpone the 258-year-old event march out of concerns about spreading the contagious coronavirus.
The 45th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Park Slope, Brooklyn’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, was scheduled for Sunday, March 15. On Thursday, March 12, the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee issued an email confirming the cancellation.
“Postponing our parade was not a decision we made lightly. The Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade has been a tradition for many families, businesses, and organizations for the past 45 years,” the email read.
A difficult decision
“The Parade committee made the difficult decision after the rapid developments that have occurred during the past 24 hours. Our Committee is going to talk and work with community leaders and our Parade supporters about rescheduling our Parade in the future.”
Similarly, the 27th annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which was scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 22, was also cancelled amidst fears of the coronavirus with hopes of rescheduling it at a later date.
According to an email sent by the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the decision to cancel the parade was a difficult one. “While this decision will be disappointing to our many supporters, minimizing the potential for COVID-19 community spread must be our top goal,” read the email.
“The health and safety of Bay Ridge’s residents and parade participants will always be our highest priority, and like many other cities across the nation and globe, postponing this year’s parade as a precautionary measure was clearly a difficult but justified decision.”
The email continued, “The Committee will work with city agencies to reschedule the parade at an appropriate date sometime in the future. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to work tirelessly to bring our 2020 Parade to you just as soon as it is reasonable and safe to do so.”
Laurie Oliver, a member of the Mayrose family, who were recognized by the Bay Ridge Parade Committee as Irish Family of the Year, agreed that the best thing to do was postpone the parade for now. “But I’m sad for my parents. The honor meant a great deal to my mother and father, and I know that my father was especially looking forward to riding on the parade float,” Mayrose told this paper.
“Hopefully things will get better and the parade will be rescheduled sooner rather than later,” she added.