City of Newport to decide fate of Saint Patrick’s day parade

Potential coronavirus concerns puts the parade in jeopardy

NEWPORT, R.I (WLNE) – Amid coronavirus concerns, the Newport city council will determine if the Saint Patrick’s day parade will continue as scheduled in an executive session.

According to the Newport Saint Patrick’s day group, the committee will not be canceling the parade unless ordered to do so by the city’s chief health official.

Businesses in Newport will still be open and hosting their own events as of right now.

The City Council will be meeting at 5:00 p.m. in an emergency meeting to make a decision.

Other parades in Boston, Hartford, and Western Massachusetts have also been canceled because of coronavirus concerns.

This Saturday would mark the 64th annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with huge crowds always expected.

It’s been a tradition in Newport, and a day residents like Russell Carlone would never miss out on.

“One of the first days after a long winter for all the local community to get together,” Carlone said.

Carlone is taking precautions himself to prevent the spread of the virus, even carrying a large container of hand sanitizer in his car.

He wants the city to take similar action.

“I think it’s a good idea to cancel the parade,” Carlone said. “I am very worried about the coronavirus taking over and causing a lot of problems in the city.”

Other residents like Marylou Grimes, a proud Irish descendent, agrees.

“I think we need to put on the brakes and err on the side of caution,” she said. “I think the way things are going right now it needs to stop.”

For bars especially, the parade brings a big boom in business, and bar manager at Pour Judgement John Flynn believes things may be getting a little out of hand.

“I do feel like it’s being taken out of proportion but we listen to from the federal government straight down to the state, you know, we have a state of emergency and we have to respect that,” Flynn said. “Who am I? I’m not an expert I’m not a doctor.”

Flynn believes that regardless if there’s a parade or not there’s still going to be a huge amount of people in Newport this weekend.

In Rhode Island there have been five confirmed cases of covid-19 with 270 people currently in self-quarantine.

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Categories: Coronavirus, Newport, News, Regional News