Coronavirus forces cancellation of St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Greenwich

Photo of Ken Borsuk

GREENWICH — Add the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Greenwich to the growing list of events canceled due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The parade, which had been scheduled for March 22, was called off on Thursday.

“The organizers regret having to make this decision, but out of an abundance of care and concern for the health and welfare of our citizens, we feel it is in everyone’s best interest,” the Greenwich Hibernian Association said in a statement.

Every year, the Hibernians organize the parade, which needs a town permit. James Daugherty, the association’s publicity chair, said the decision was made after consultation with town and state health officials.

“It is very disappointing after all of the hard work by the committee, but the circumstances are beyond our control and the health of our fellow citizens must be our first concern,” Daugherty said. “We will look forward to next year and hopefully better days for everyone.”

The 2021 parade will be held on March 21. The parade is usually one of the biggest events of the year in Greenwich, attracting huge crowds.

The local cancellation came after parades were called off in New York City, Boston, New Haven, Hartford and Danbury. Stamford held its parade last Saturday before the massive cancellations began due to the spread of the virus.

On Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont, a town resident, signed an executive order prohibiting all events in the state with crowds of more than 250 people.

Former Selectman John Toner was slated to serve as the grand marshal for the parade.

This is only the second cancellation in the parade’s 46-year history. In 2016, the parade was canceled out of concerns about a potential snowstorm that did not come to pass.