Stpatsparadejas031812 (copy)

Participants march down Frederick Avenue during a previous St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in St. Joseph will not be held Saturday, March 14.

Shane McDonald, a member of the St. Joseph Ancient Order of Hibernians, said on Thursday afternoon that after long deliberations the group decided to indefinitely postpone the event because of concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This difficult decision was made due to rising concerns over the last 24 hours, including the pronouncement from the World Health Organization that the virus constitutes a pandemic and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control,” the Hibernians said in a press release.

McDonald said the group had been fielding a large number of phone calls, text messages and e-mails from people due to other St. Patrick’s Day parades around the country being canceled.

“We were also influenced by the many similar, large event gatherings being canceled in our region. Out of an abundance of caution, we feel that we need to take responsibility for containment of the spread and must indefinitely postpone the parade,” the Hibernians stated.

The group said it will monitor the situation and make a decision later on whether the event will be rescheduled.

“A decision to reschedule may be made as circumstances become clearer,” the release stated.

The parade would have been the 34th installment of the popular event, which normally brings out hundreds of people on its route down Frederick Avenue.

Andrew Gaug can be reached

at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter:

@NPNOWGaug

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