Downtown, South Side, and Northwest Side St. Patrick’s Day Parades have been canceled. We wait another year.
It likely won’t come as a shock to anybody, given that a global pandemic is still wreaking havoc worldwide, but Chicago’s much-loved St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have now been officially canceled for the second year running. There will be no lively parades nor jovial crowds this year and we won’t be seeing the Chicago River dyed that brilliant bright emerald green.
The Chicago River is dyed emerald green each year and is one of the world’s most famous St. Patrick’s Day traditions. Turning the river green for St. Patrick's Day first began in 1962.
Have you seen the Chicago River turned green for St. Patrick's Day? pic.twitter.com/YV1Vh4gS3n
— St. Patrick's Festival (@stpatricksfest) January 29, 2021
The return of indoor dining and the distribution of vaccines have given us reason to be optimistic and the pure popularity of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations means many of us were praying for their return. Health and safety, however, has been rightly heeded and we must sensibly wait out another year for our favorite annual events and parades like this one to return when the global pandemic has been contained.
Chicago's St. Patrick's Day parades again canceled: The COVID-19 pandemic has one again shut down Chicago's South Side Irish Parade. https://t.co/pdVYJGdCw1
— Top U.S. & World News🗽 (@USRealityCheck) February 2, 2021
Last year, you may remember, we were teased with the hope that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations would go ahead only for the City of Chicago to call it all off a few days prior due to the unnecessary risks. Once again the dangers posed by large groups have forced this year’s cancellations and a firm decision has been made weeks in advance.
Downtown Alderman Brian Hopkins spoke of the fear of a new variant as one of the main concerns. That, combined with the busy bar and tavern activity that St. Patrick’s Day inevitably sees, means that there was simply no other decision to be made.
“By the time we realize it’s spreading here, that would be too late. We need to be proactive to stop it, and that means no parade, no dyeing of the river, no people packing into bars. I hate to say it, but it’s the only sensible course of action at this point” said Alderman Hopkins.
[Featured image from Shuttershock]