The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Butte has been canceled, according to organizers.
Parade organizers made the announcement after consulting with the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department.
"It's with a heavy heart that I have to let the public and parade attendees know this," said Matt Boyle. "I never dreamed of having to do this, much less be in the middle of a global pandemic."
"This day and this event are so ingrained into the culture of our town," Boyle said. "It's just super disappointing. I never wanted to say no to the parade, but we have to take the health and safety of our citizens and those connected to us around the world very seriously."
Also canceled is the annual St. Patrick’s Day brunch, sponsored by Butte Catholic Community North, and previously scheduled for March 15; the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick event, previously scheduled for March 16; and the annual Handing Down the Heritage event at the Butte Civic Center, previously scheduled for the evening of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The event is traditionally attended by about 1,500 people.
“The community and event planners have been so cooperative as we have worked with them,” said Karen Sullivan, health officer for Butte-Silver Bow County. "But I think it's times like these when communities can come together. That community spirit of cooperation and protecting the herd is really incredible, and I'm proud of our town."
The Health Department is also advising folks particularly susceptible to COVID-19 — people who are 60 and older, those with chronic health conditions and those with suppressed immune systems — to avoid congregate settings, such as bars and taverns.
Other St. Patrick's Day parades in major U.S. cities have been canceled amid coronavirus concerns, including Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.
Ireland also canceled all of its St. Patrick's Day parades.
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