NEW YORK, NY — New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the largest celebration’s of the event in the world, will be canceled due to concerns about the spread of Coronavirus, NY1 first reported.
The annual parade, which draws millions of marchers and spectators to Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, was scheduled for Tuesday, March 17. The parade has never been canceled before since its debut in 1762, according to parade organizers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio would not confirm the parade’s cancellation during a Wednesday afternoon press conference, stating that the city is “waiting for confirmation” and didn’t want to reveal details of a “private discussion.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier Wednesday that he was leaning toward canceling the New York City parade. Cuomo has the authority to shut the parade down without the Mayor’s approval.
“Why would you risk bringing thousands of people together knowing that this is a virus that easily communicates,” Cuomo said during a press conference.
A request for comment sent to parade organizers was not immediately returned.
New York City won’t be the first major metropolis to cancel its celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Both Boston and Dublin, Ireland have already announced decisions to cancel parades for the sake of public health.