COVID-19 fears won’t stop St. Patrick’s Day parade

St. Patrick's Day in Philadelphia
St. Patrick’s Day ParadeGetty

Philadelphia’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will go ahead on Sunday— rain, shine and coronavirus aside.

The Philly parade has been around since 1771, according to It claims to be the second oldest in the country.

New York City will also still be holding its parade. reports that other cities, such as Chicago, are also planning on throwing their parades

So far, Boston and the event’s cultural home in Dublin, Ireland, have canceled their parades.

Officials held a press conference Tuesday after the City of Philadelphia confirmed its first case of COVID-19. They did not cancel the parade, but the Health Department is recommending that residents do not attend public gatherings.

“As of today, we are recommending that people in Philadelphia not attend public gatherings that would typically have more than 5,000 people at them. We are not canceling those gatherings. We are recommending that people not attend those public gatherings. This is especially important for people who are volatile to these infections— that would be the elderly and people with chronic illnesses,” Dr. Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said during a press conference yesterday.

Farley added, “That includes sporting events. That includes the parade scheduled for this weekend. We are not cancelling these events. We are not prohibiting people from going there, but we are recommending that people not attend as spectators and instead recommending that people watch those events on television.”

This specific guiding point is of specific importance for people who have chronic health conditions or are elderly.

According to a statement made on the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association website on Tuesday, “The parade is still on and not cancelled !!!! We have met and also had numerous conference calls with the City. They made a statement today, which we participated in during the conference call. Please use common sense: if you are sick, stay home as you would for any other event. Read the info from the CDC for your own good for everyday life.” spoke to Michael J. Bradley, a former director and 2020 marshal of the parade, who stated that organizers relied on the judgment of health officials and the government in deciding not to cancel the event.

Although the parade is not canceled, a slew of other events in the Philly area have been, such as conferences as well as some concerts.