The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has claimed more cultural casualties: two of the biggest local celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Dogtown Irish Festival have been canceled. Both were also called off in 2020; they were among the first cancellations when the virus began to shut down the country.
“Dealing with all of the unknowns of the current situation, it was impossible to plan an event of the size of the Hibernians’ Parade with this much uncertainty," Hibernian Parade Committee chairman Dennis Pogue said in a statement. "So we felt the best course of action was to make this decision now and focus our efforts on our 2022 parade.”
Joe Jovanovich, board president of Dogtown United, which plans the Dogtown Irish Festival, said the group had been holding out hope that "things would fall in place" for this year's event.
"But after much deliberation among our board, and in consultation with our local alderman, we decided it was in the community’s best interest to be cautious and look ahead to making a safe and well-organized festival in 2022,” he said.
Dogtown United is planning some virtual events for the week of St. Patrick’s Day, but details have not yet been finalized. The organization also expects to release information about how restaurants and other small businesses in the area will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
The organization will share details at dogtownunited.org.
On Tuesday the state reported 263 more deaths due to the virus, a record one-day increase.