Coronavirus Update: New York St. Patrick's Day Parade Canceled for First Time in 258 Years

On Wednesday, New York City officially canceled its annual St. Patrick's Day parade out of concern for the coronavirus. The call to cancel the largest parade dedicated to the holiday was made by Parade Chairman Sean Lane and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It marks the first time the parade won't be held since 1762, interrupting 258 years of tradition.

A source also told the New York Post that decision was made without much authority from Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"My understanding is that de Blasio wasn't in the middle of it," the source said. "de Blasio was less than helpful. He dithered. He wouldn't make a decision one way or another."

De Blasio himself appeared to refute this decision at a press conference, telling reporters that "we're waiting for confirmation."

"We heard that [the parade was canceled], too, but again, from the information I had and the last conversation, that was not confirmed," the mayor added.

He also noted that there are currently 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York's five boroughs, and 200 in New York state.

The cancellation is the latest in a series of events that have either pulled the plug or been postponed, all citing the coronavirus as the reason. Some of the events include SXSW, Coachella, and the Ultra Music Festival. March Madness go on, just not quite as planned, as only certain staff and family will be allowed to attend — and not any fans.

"Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.


Along with individual events, artists and performers are rethinking their plans as well. Adam Sandler announced on Twitter Wednesday that he was postponing his March standup tour, as is Pearl Jam, who are currently working to reschedule the opening leg of their North American tour.

Even Howie Mandel, whose Obsessive Compulsive Disorder drives his fear of germs, showed up to work at America's Got Talent this week wearing a hazmat suit. Similarly, Timothy Olyphant showed up to his interview at Conan last week armed with sanitizer wipes and quickly advised the audience about the necessity of hand-washing.