'Health concerns': York City's 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Parade canceled

Harper Ho
York Dispatch

The York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which attracts thousands annually to downtown York City and helps boost downtown businesses, will not return until 2022.

The York St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee again pushed back the 37th parade because of COVID-19.

Hopefully "third time will be the charm," the committee announced in a news release Saturday.

Prior to the 36th Annual York St. Patrick's Day Parade advances down Market Street in York City, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"While we are disappointed to have to cancel, we are acting in the interest and well-being of everyone. This outcome was not reached lightly," the committee said, citing "health concerns related to COVID-19" as the reason.

Jeremiah Anderson, co-owner of several businesses in downtown York, including White Rose Bar & Grill, said St. Patrick's Day and parade day are the busiest and biggest in terms of revenue for his restaurants year-round. 

"It definitely has an impact on every restaurant and bar that's downtown here in York — and business, for that matter — but we understand why," he said Saturday. "Because of the type of year it is now, our expectations weren't high at all. We weren't expecting anything at all."

Anderson said his restaurants shuttered their doors in July because of state COVID-19 mandates and only opened back up in November for limited hours as "a way to survive."

Organizers announced this year's parade cancellation just days before the event was set to take place early in the pandemic outbreak.

The general consensus back then was that everything would be "good to go" by summer, Anderson said, adding never did he imagine the pandemic would stretch into 2021. 

The 36th Annual York St. Patrick's Day Parade advances down Market Street in York City, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"It's a very fluid situation. You can't take anything for granted," he said. "It's completely unfathomable. I still can't come to grips completely with the total impact of this. I think it will probably take some time to understand it, but it's multifaceted. It's not just a financial impact. It's an entire way of life for a lot people."    

The committee said it's planning a virtual St. Patrick's Day celebration in 2021.

Entry fees, sponsorships and donations will be applied to the 2022 parade unless a refund is requested in writing. Those can be mailed to YSPDP, P.O. Box 1043, York, PA 17405-1043, or emailed to YorkStPatParade@gmail.com, the release said.