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Organizers call off St. Patrick's Day parades in Dogtown, downtown St. Louis, Cottleville and Metro East

Organizers call off St. Patrick's Day parades in Dogtown, downtown St. Louis, Cottleville and Metro East

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ST. LOUIS — Civic organizers from multiple regional areas, aiming to slow the spread of the coronavirus, on Wednesday called off St. Patrick's Day parades downtown, in Cottleville and, finally, in the city's Dogtown neighborhood as well.

The downtown St. Louis St. Patrick’s Day parade and run were scheduled for Saturday, as was the Shamrock Run and Parade in Cottleville. Cottleville Firefighters Outreach, sponsor of the events, said Wednesday night that organizers feared an overload crowd because other events had been canceled. 

The Dogtown parade, scheduled for Tuesday next week, was finally postponed late Wednesday.

"Obviously, we're cognizant of what's going on right now, globally," said Jim Mohan, spokesman for the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which helps organize the event. They did not set a date for the rescheduled parade.

The downtown parade, which would have been the 51st, attracts more than 250,000 people, and was supposed to include more than 130 marching units, including floats, bands, dancers, helium-filled balloons, and more than 5,000 parade participants.

The downtown parade was scheduled to start at noon Saturday, rain or shine, at 20th and Market streets.  The 5-mile run was supposed to start at 9 a.m. 

"We do look to reschedule these events, and the private parties that accompany our weekend, likely as part of our September Halfway-To-St. Pat’s celebration," said Maureen McGlynn, committee chairwoman for the events. "We make this decision based upon the best information currently available, and we know that St. Louis will support us in this."

Cities such as Boston, Dallas and Chicago also have called off their parades.

By Thursday morning, Belleville called off its St. Patrick's Day parade, set for Saturday, and all surrounding events. So did Waterloo, whose first parade was set for Sunday.

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