Ireland shut down its festivities, Boston canceled its parade, and now Denver's St. Patrick's Day Parade has followed suit — all out of fear that the events would be a ripe spot for the coronavirus to spread.
The event's organizers, in collaboration with Mayor Michael Hancock and the City of Denver, just announced that the annual parade, set for Saturday, March 14, has been canceled over fears of COVID-19.
"The health and safety of parade participants and attendees is our highest priority every year, and the call to cancel the 2020 parade was made out of an abundance of caution for the public health of all those who join us every year to celebrate this annual tradition," parade organizers posted to their Facebook page. "Our hearts are saddened by this difficult but appropriate decision, due to the countless hours invested by our committee members. "
Organizers are in the process of contacting the parade's participants, sponsors, volunteers and vendors. The parade's title sponsor, Bellco Credit Union, issued a statement in support of the decision. “The health and safety of our community is the top priority for all of us,” writes Dan Kampen, the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer.
People took to the parade's Facebook page to express their opinions.
"I don’t envy the flak you will take for this decision," wrote Mel. "I respect the decision. I won’t be like all the other people who allow disappointment to make them into rude jerks."
Danny expressed frustration: "We might as well pack it in and stop living. Don't agree with this at all. A lot of businesses will now suffer because of this."
And Runkle declared the party's still happening: "As far as I'm concerned, it's still on. All of our friends will be waking up early for 6AM carbombs, then lightrailing to Union Station, then plopping ourselves right at Blake and 20th to make our own parade if we must."
Where will you be on St. Patrick's Day? Let us know your thoughts on the cancellation at firstname.lastname@example.org.