Mayor Byron W. Brown, along with County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Buffalo Fire Department Medical Director Dr. Joseph Bart, Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo, South District Council Member Christopher Scanlon, as well as Buffalo Parade Organizers, has announced that both St. Patrick’s Day parades have officially been canceled in Buffalo due to the rapid spreading of the coronavirus. The parades were scheduled to take place this coming weekend.
Mayor Brown stated, “As a top destination for St. Patrick Day parties across the country, we recognize that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Buffalo are important cultural events for our community and always a lot of fun and a great boon to our City’s restaurants and bars, as people stream in to enjoy the many festivities. That’s why I’m disappointed to say – that after a conference call this morning with County Executive Mark Poloncarz, organizers of both weekend St. Patrick’s Day parades in Buffalo, and others – parade organizers have decided to cancel both parades.”
He continued, “Many health and safety concerns were discussed on that call concerning large gatherings, including parades. It was with heavy hearts that all of the organizers decided to cancel their parades. This was not an easy decision. Nobody is taking it lightly. I thank them for making that decision. We all love St. Patrick’s Day weekend, with its parades and festivities, but at this time, the focus must be on public health and safety, and making sure we take pro-active steps to prevent any potential spread of the corona virus.”
Mayor Brown stated, “Nobody is more sensitive to the concerns of the downtown business community than I am, so this is very disappointing. But like cities across the nation, we concluded that due to the large volume of marchers and spectators…having parades at this time poses an unnecessary risk to public health.”
After the announcement to cancel both St. Patrick’s Day parades, Mayor Brown and South District Council Member Christopher Scanlon moved forward with the annual Irish Flag Raising in Niagara Square.
Mayor Brown stated, “Our community is steeped in Irish history and tradition, and my Administration is always pleased to shine a light on the many positive contributions of Irish Americans to our culture in Buffalo. While health matters forced us to postpone our City’s festive parades, I’m pleased that the Irish Flag will wave proudly outside Buffalo City Hall, and in partnership with the Buffalo Landmark Illumination Team, our skyline will be lit in green on weekends throughout the month of March.”
“The Irish have played a large role in the history of Buffalo – as laborers, civil servants, religious clergy and community leaders,” said Council Member Scanlon. “Our ancestors who immigrated here helped to build this City. Despite numerous obstacles upon their arrival in this country, they persevered, and left a legacy we are very proud of and that we take time to celebrate during this season.”
In closing, Mayor Brown added, “City residents should continue to exercise basic precautions while going about their lives: wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. To ensure City residents have the facts and resources they need to protect themselves from COVID-19, the City posted a number of links to health information @ www.buffalony.gov.”
For more information about COVID-19, including symptoms of the Coronavirus, visit the Erie County Health Department website at www.erie.gov/health, call the State Department of Health hotline at 1-888-364-3065
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