Organizers have decided to cancel the 2021 Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade due to the ongoing concerns of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee made the announcement Thursday. The parade was scheduled for March 13, 2021.
“This decision was not made lightly and we have everyone’s health and well-being at the forefront of our decision,” said Parade Chairwoman Elizabeth Saunders in a media statement.
The 2020 parade was also canceled, an early victim of the pandemic.
The parade draws tens of thousands and is usually a big boost for Hartford, making its cancellation another blow for small businesses struggling in the pandemic.
“This is the right and responsible decision, but it’s also one more blow to downtown restaurants and bars that have been so hard hit," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement. "Those restaurants urgently need relief, whether from the federal government or the state – so they can be around when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2022 with the biggest parade yet.”
If conditions allow, the committee plans to hold a celebration of Irish culture in Fall 2021, leading up to the 2022 parade.