Buffalo's St. Pat's parades are still on, for now

Mar 10, 2020

With college campuses and sporting events elsewhere making changes to curb the spread of COVID-19, Buffalo's mayor says one of the city's most popular draws remains on schedule.

A view from the St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Buffalo, March 2018. Mayor Brown announced Tuesday the annual parades along Delaware Avenue and the Old First Ward are still on as scheduled, though his administration is in touch with health officials monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus elsewhere.
Credit WBFO file photo, Mike Desmond

Buffalo is home to two St. Patrick's Day parades, in the Old First Ward and along Delaware Avenue. Mayor Byron Brown was asked Tuesday whether concerns for coronavirus may lead to cancellations.

"Right now, no decisions have been made not to go forward," he said. "We're operating under the assumption right now that we're going forward, but we are evaluating the circumstances, getting constant updates from the state and the county. Right now, we intend on moving forward."

No cases of COVID-19 coronavirus have been reported in Erie County or in Western New York. Downstate, however, Governor Cuomo announced new cases were emerging in the metro New York area and especiallyin Westchester County. National Guard personnel will be activated as part of a cleanup in New Rochelle, where Cuomo says schools and shops will be close for two weeks to slow down a spread in a community which is the largest hotspot in New York State.

Syracuse University announced Tuesday it will suspend on-campus activities and, upon the conclusion of its spring break, hold all classes online through the end of March at the earliest. Fordham University announced a similar measure Monday.

Back in Buffalo, Mayor Brown stated that a positively identified in the city would be the tipping point leading his administration to call off the coming weekend's festivities. In the meantime, while the parades remain on schedule, the mayor and his staff are monitoring developments.

"We have been in close communication with the state of New York State Health Department, and the Erie County Health Department," Brown said.  "We are evaluating what the needs might be, as we are coming up on large special events where there will be large gatherings of people, like the St. Patrick's Day parades.