DOWNTOWN — The coronavirus shut down Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but Chicago’s will still happen.
The city still plans to dye the river green and host the downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, and the South Side Irish Parade and Northwest Side Irish Parade will still be held Sunday.
Jim Smith, committee co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade, said organizers are “still moving forward” with the parade. The parade typically draws a crowd of 100,000-150,000 people.
Organizers will work with city agencies if they determine any alerts should be put out or other changes made, Smith said. He recommended people with existing medical problems and people who feel unwell, especially older people, stay home.
“We’re obviously gonna be taking any leads from the city if they recommend anything,” Smith said.
Ireland announced Monday it would cancel Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade — and all other ones in the country — due to the coronavirus. Ireland has 24 confirmed cases of the virus so far.
Boston, a city known for its large Irish American population, announced Monday it had canceled its parade, too.
The Chicago River will be dyed green at 9 a.m. Saturday between Columbus and Wacker drives. The Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts noon at Grant Park.
The South Side Irish Parade kicks off noon Sunday at 103rd Street and Western Avenue and goes south down Western Avenue to 115th Street.
The Northwest Side Irish Parade starts noon Sunday at 6634 W. Raven St. and has an after party that runs 1-5 p.m. at St. Thecla Falcon Hall, 6323 N. Newcastle Ave.
St. Patrick’s Day itself is March 17.
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