HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade has been cancelled for the second year in a row, Committee members announced Monday evening, citing COVID concerns. 

The St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke voted Sunday night at its January 3 virtual meeting to suspend all in-person activities associated with the parade through the end of March 2021.  

As a result of this vote, the 2020-2021 Parade will be postponed until 2022. 

“This was not an easy decision to make,” Marc Joyce, 2020-2021 parade president said. “We understand that many will be saddened, but we need to do what is best for our community. We will march again and we will have much to celebrate over homecoming weekend in 2022.” 

The Committee explained that the health and safety of first responders and parade participants are their primary concern and that although some people have been able to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, it is not yet widely distributed enough.  

Joyce was hopeful the COVID-19 vaccine would be widely distributed by March, allowing the parade to go on but realized this week that the rollout won’t be fast enough.

The 69th annual Parade was canceled due to COVID-19. Officers of the Committee, city health, and public safety officials were hopeful the virus would be sustained by now but local and national COVID cases continue to rise making it unsafe for large gatherings. 

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Committee will “hold over” the 2020 Award Recipients and Colleens in order to celebrate them on March 20, 2022 at the 69th Annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. 

Current Parade Committee Officers and members of the Board of Directors, as presently constituted, will continue in the same capacities through the 2021-2022 Parade Season, they said.