As virus slows NY, organizers hold mini St. Pat’s parade

Coronavirus

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s the first St. Patrick’s Day in more than 250 years without a large parade in New York City, but that didn’t stop a few dozen organizers from marching in a makeshift celebration as the city ground to a halt Tuesday, the first full day without restaurants except for takeout orders amid the coronavirus crisis.

Organizers of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade gathered Tuesday for a rain-soaked march down Fifth Avenue with a banner and flags at around 7 a.m., led by police cars with flashing lights, according to Facebook and Instagram posts from the organizers’ accounts.

The parade board of directors posted a photo on Instagram showing about 30 people posing with a banner in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in mid-Manhattan. The parade board of directors said they “marched and preserved the history of the Parade.” A Facebook live video shows people in uniforms and sashes marching in the predawn gloom as bagpipe music plays.

The brief march wasn’t advertised and the sidewalks were largely empty. A phone message was left with parade organizers.

The parade, which has taken place since 1762, was postponed to a later date to halt the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Crowds of more than 50 have since been banned in New York and health officials are urging people to stay home if possible.

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