New York City has canceled its St Patrick’s Day parade for the first time in more than 250 years as the coronavirus continues to spread across the city.
New York’s parade is the most important St Patrick’s Day parade in the US and typically attracts two million spectators and was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 17.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to confirm the cancellation, but City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera told the New York Post that the parade will not proceed.
De Blasio said earlier on Wednesday that he was considering canceling the parade.
We’re talking it through with the parade committee. We have to really think about this one because it’s a beloved event, an important event,’ he said.
The event takes on a crowded party atmosphere, and attendees are known to consume large amounts of beer and other alcoholic beverages – which could make following precautionary social distancing measures intended to stem the spread of the virus more difficult.