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Generally Speaking: Pandemic virus knocks out St. Patrick’s Day parades

February 8, 2021 Theodore W. General
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For a second straight year, Irish eyes won’t be smiling as St. Patrick’s Day approaches and parades here and around the country are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  These include the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York, and the Brooklyn and Bay Ridge parades.

The Manhattan march dates back to 1762 and is organized by the present-day St. Patrick’s Day Foundation, NYC.  If you count the 2020 cancellation, this would be the 260th annual parade.  However, the parade committee is hinting at possibly having a virtual parade.

In past years, the Brooklyn Irish-American Parade Committee held its St. Patrick’s march along Seventh Avenue, returning along Prospect Park West to the start point at 15th Street in Park Slope.

Kathleen McDonagh, one of the parade’s founding directors, said at a past reception that the annual event is a salute to Irish culture, particularly on this side of the Atlantic. “We pay tribute to the Irish for their vast contributions to the church, to the borough, the city, the state and the nation,” she said. This year would have commemorated the 46th annual parade.  

The Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Parade Committee was hoping to hold its 28th annual parade.  To help promote the 2020 march, the parade committee paid to have strings of lights centered with three shamrocks across the Third Avenue parade route, but while the lights stayed for several months, the parade had to be canceled. 


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