St. Patrick's Day Parades Turn Pandemic Blues Irish Green

After a two year hiatus, St. Patrick's Day celebrations are back across the country.

St. Patrick's Day Parades Turn Pandemic Blues Irish Green

This is a sign that there may be some relief from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This holiday was a crucial marker in the spread of the epidemic. In 2020, parades honoring Irish heritage were the first major public events to be cancelled. Rapidly, the spread of infections was alarming and led to widespread shutdowns.

On Thursday, New York's full-fledged parade returned to New York. This was in conjunction with the wider reopening of the city. Major vaccination and mask rules have been recently removed.

As revelers poured onto the streets, the city's famous Fifth Avenue was filled with green as they took part in the tradition for only the second time in two years.

Kathy Brucia (65), a Irish woman, was dressed in green with a shamrock cheek on her cheek. She has been going to the parade for over three decades, except the last two years.

She said, "The pandemic," as she walked past the first marching band on Thursday morning. "I don’t believe it’s over. However, I believe that many people feel like they can finally go to a parade without worrying. However, I believe everyone has to worry.

Sean Lane, chair of the organizing committee, stated that "Psychologically it means a lot." This is what New York needs.

Mike Carty, an Irish-born owner of Rosie O'Grady's in the Theater District, said yes.

He said, "This is one of the best things that has happened in two years." "We need the business and this really kickstarted it."

Savannah, Georgia is home to the South's largest St. Patrick's Day celebration. Since 1824, Irish immigrants and their descendents have been holding parades. The holiday, which has been around for nearly two centuries, is Savannah's most lucrative tourist attraction. It's a street party for hundreds upon thousands of people still thirsty from Mardi Gras.

Tori Purvis (46), arrived in Savannah before dawn to claim a spot at the parade's start. She was joined by Tristan, her 3-year-old son. Tristan still wears his rainbow-colored pajamas and is wearing leprechaun hats. Purvis stated that she has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day since childhood in Savannah. The only years she doesn't recall not being there were 2020 and 2021, when the pandemic forced it to be cancelled.

Purvis stated, "I don't support masks or any other type of mask, but it's nice for people to be outside enjoying their time without them." It's almost like normalcy is returning.

Chicago's river was dyed green over the weekend after it did so last year without much fanfare and having abandoned the tradition during the initial virus outbreak.

After a two year absence, Boston, home of one of the largest Irish enclaves in the country, will resume its annual parade Sunday.

Florida was one of the first states that reopened its economy. Some Florida communities were also returning their parades. Two years ago, the state decided to close down bars, nightclubs and restaurants in order to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. This was a dramatic decision by Republican that emphasized the uncertainty and fear of the time.

New York's largest and most historic parade, which was first held in 1762, runs for 35 blocks along Fifth Avenue. It passes St. Patrick's Cathedral, and ends at Central Park.

The event is being held as New York City emerges from a demoralizing bout with the contagious Omicron variant that claimed the lives of more than 4,000 New Yorkers in January and February.

The surge has seen a decline in hospitalizations and new infections, which has prompted city officials to approve the procession.

On Thursday, Mayor Eric Adams started his pub crawl early. He drank a pint at Guinness while visiting an Irish pub in his city.

He compared the pandemic with the terrorist attacks on World Trade Center.

The mayor stated that COVID was not terrorist, but that it brought terror to the city. "Now we're at the 9/12 minute when we parade down in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. We are getting up, and we are declaring that New York is stronger and better.

In 2020 and 2021, organizers quietly organized small parades on St. Patrick's Day at sunrise to keep the tradition alive.

This year, thousands of people attended the parade. However, many New Yorkers remain cautiousabout large, potentially virus-spreading public events.

This holiday, which commemorates the martyrdom of Ireland's patron saint more than 15 centuries ago, has become a profitable observance of Irish culture for pubs and restaurants.

There was also solemnity. The procession stopped on Thursday to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, first responders who were killed in the line-of-duty, and thousands more victims of the pandemic.

Outside St. Patrick's Cathedral the Bishop Edmund Whalen expressed his kinship to the Ukrainian people.

He said, "We Irish are well aware of the injustices of oppression and domination by those who tried to impose their will on us." "And so, we pray for those in Ukraine who are suffering from the injustices of war."


 

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