PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Committee of the Pittston City Saint Patrick’s Parade has announced the cancellation of this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re devastated but we know it’s the safest thing to do and we have been making some plans that we can do safely to commemorate our eighth annual parade which would have been on March 6 of this year,” Sarah Donahue, Co-Chair of the Pittston City Saint Patrick’s Parade Committee said.
Donahue says the decision comes as an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of parade-goers.
‘We just know it’s not safe to gather in big groups yet and especially for something like a Saint Patrick’s parade, obviously there’s a lot of people who come out and watch the parade and there’s a lot of people in restaurants and bars,” Donahue said.
Despite the cancellation of what would have been the eighth annual parade, Donahue says the planning of alternative ways to celebrate is in the works.
“I’d like to put together some kind of virtual parade where past participants send a photo of their unit, of their float, of their walkers and I can put them together sort of in a slideshow and reminisce on our past seven years,” Donahue said.
This year, there will be a 3.17-mile Leprechaun Race held virtually, and a commemorative 2020 parade clothing sale.
“We’re still going to give some amazing prizes away for best costumes and other things so we are going to have that. We will be hanging the Irish banners in town and we might have some other tricks up our sleeve,” Donahue said.
There will not be a Mass, pub crawl, or Little Miss and Mister Leprechaun Contest until next year’s parade.
“The parade is our love, it’s our life for so many months. For me, I’ve been around since the first one so I’m completely devastated but I understand and I think by next March by 2022 maybe we’ll be able to gather again hopefully,” Donahue said.
The city’s first parade was held in 2014 and over the years has attracted more than 100,000 visitors to downtown Pittston.
All further updates will be posted on the Pittston City St. Patrick’s Parade Facebook page.