Is There Going to Be a 35th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade?
Years ago the decision was made to begin a St. Patrick's Parade in Quincy when I asked my co-worker Dennis Oliver if he would like to walk with me down Maine Street to form a two-man parade. We hoped it would put us in the Guinness Book of World records for the smallest St. Patrick's Parade ever (2 people). Apparently there must have been a one-person parade somewhere as we never made it in the record book.
What we did do, unknowingly to both of us, was begin a St. Patrick's Parade tradition that has carried on for 35 years. COVID-19 put a roadblock up just days before we were scheduled to hold last year's parade as we were told we could not assemble that many people in one place. To keep the tradition going, Dennis and I dressed up in our finest Irish outfits and walked down Maine Street complete with a police escort.
The hope then was that we would all be able to assemble for the 35th edition of the St Patrick's Parade on Saturday, March 13, 2021. We all know what we have been through since last year's 2-man parade. The past 12 months have been nothing short of unbelievable. In Adams County alone, we have lost 113 residents to COVID-19 and nearly 8,000 others have suffered from Coronavirus according to the Adams County Health Department.
While the COVID-19 numbers have been encouraging lately for our area, my concerns are we just might be letting down our guard by holding a large outdoor event like the St. Patrick's Parade at this time. Having gathered information as to holding the parade or not with health officials and others, it came down to people still attempting to socially distance and wear their masks during the parade. I have no concerns with parade participants adhering to the guidelines, but the concern I do have is the thousands of spectators watching that I can not control.
The last thing I want to see is an uptick of the numbers as we approach spring. It is my hope that we will see some degree of normalcy for the summer ahead. No one wants that more than I do, and I am willing to sacrifice holding this year's parade to make that happen. Therefore, with a great deal of reservation, I announce that the 35th annual St. Patrick's Parade will not be held this year.
I want everyone to know that this was a decision made by me and me only. No one told me not to hold this year's event. This decision pains me more than you will ever know as this parade has always been billed as "Ushering in Spring" and getting people to an outdoor event for the first time this year. Despite the parade cancellation, I will again ask Dennis Oliver to walk with me as we did last year to keep the tradition alive, but ask that it be just the two of us like old times again..
I realize this news will not be welcomed by many, but we want everyone to be safe, hopefully enjoy a better summer than last year and still be with us when we do hold the 36th Annual St. Patrick's Parade on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Until then:
May the road rise to meet you. May the wind at 5th & Maine be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet on Maine Street again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
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