HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A difficult decision was made Tuesday in western Massachusetts on Tuesday, cancelling an event that’s been in the works for months.
It was announced Tuesday afternoon that the City of Holyoke has canceled their annual St. Patrick’s Parade and Road Race due to an uptick in coronavirus cases statewide. The annual St. Patrick’s weekend generates hundreds of thousands of people in Holyoke for the weekend of festivities.
The foot traffic is huge for local businesses who count on this revenue, and 22News spoke with one bar downtown that’s not letting this put a damper on tradition. For more than six decades, the Holyoke Saint Patrick’s Parade has run as planned, but this year a shocking announcement.
The tradition in the city will not take place this year, cancelled for the first time in history as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Massachusetts. Mayor Morse confirmed that there are no reported cases in Holyoke and that the city wants to keep it that way.
Some local businesses don’t agree, as the parade weekend generates a big portion of their annual income. Brennan’s Place is a popular stop on the parade route.
Patron Clark Wojtowicz told 22News, “I think it’s a bummer. You get to meet everybody and all your friends get together and have a good time. So, I don’t know. We’ll find something to do.”
But management at Brennan’s confirmed with 22News that they still plan to set up tents and have live music for the parade weekend. In previous years, Brennan’s told 22News they make more than 10 percent of their annual income during the annual weekend.
As of right now, it’s business as usual for Brennan’s the weekend of March 21, unless they are told otherwise.