BY DAVID SINGLETON
Organizers of the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade hope a delay of six months will be time enough for the COVID-19 pandemic to ease.
A little luck of the Irish couldn’t hurt.
The day after the St. Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County announced the 2021 parade would be postponed from March 13 to Sept. 18, association President Albert O’Donnell acknowledged Monday nothing is set in stone.
The traditional parade will take place in downtown Scranton on the new date only if it’s safe to have it, O’Donnell said, and that depends on the trajectory of the pandemic.
“It’s tentative because we don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow let alone in September with everything going on,” he said. “But it seems like (vaccines) are becoming more available and hopefully everyone will have their shots by then and this nightmare of the last 12 months will be behind us.”
Although there was some discussion about holding a virtual parade in March, O’Donnell said the association wanted to have a traditional parade that would bring people into the downtown to celebrate “if — and it’s a big if right now — it is safe.”
The Sept. 18 date is roughly halfway to the next St. Patrick’s Day, and O’Donnell said it might be good timing for downtown businesses and the parade’s sponsors.
“We especially wanted to do something for the small-business owners who have been struggling mightily in the last year,” he said. “This might be just what the doctor ordered to get them started on the road to recovery and lead into Thanksgiving and Christmas and start to make up some of the money they lost in the pandemic.”
The Carbondale Lighted St Patrick’s Parade will also be postponed until September.
A post on the organization’s Facebook page says the event — dubbed the Carbondale Lighted 1/2 Way to St. Patrick’s Parade — will be held the evening of Sept. 17, the night before the Scranton parade.
The 2020 parades in Scranton and Carbondale were among the first public events to be canceled locally during the early days of the pandemic.
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