CLEVELAND — The "Luck of the Irish" is unfortunately not on Cleveland's side.
The city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade has been canceled for the second straight year due to COVID-19 concerns. Linda M. Carney of the United Irish Societies of Greater Cleveland made the announcement official Tuesday night.
"The health and safety of our community is our greatest priority," Carney, the executive director of the parade's committee, wrote in a statement. "We must act in the best interest and well-being of all organizers, volunteers, participants, and spectators."
The parade did not take place in 2020 either, with officials deciding to scrap the event in the earliest days of the pandemic. Back then, all of Ohio's bars and restaurants were closed as well, bringing one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year to a screeching halt.
This time around, local bars are indeed open, meaning people just may have an opportunity to celebrate in a (somewhat) normal fashion. However, normally packed crowds will be severely limited due to social distancing protocols, and for the moment all establishments must close at 10 p.m. due to a statewide curfew. The latter measure is due to expire later this month, and it is unknown if Gov. DeWine could relax some restrictions by March 17.
MIKE POLK JR.: An Irish wake for Cleveland's Moriarty's Pub as iconic bar
Carney says the committee is "committed to presenting the next Parade on March 17, 2022." Health experts are hoping a sizeable majority of the country will be vaccinated against the coronavirus by this fall, as it could allow many crowd control measures to be lifted.
Check out photos from the 2019 parade below: