The 44th annual Mid-Hudson St. Patrick's Day Parade in Goshen, scheduled for March 15, is cancelled due to fears regarding the Coronavirus, organizers said Wednesday.
In a post on the Mid-Hudson St. Patrick's Day Committee's Facebook page, the organization said the Orange County Department of Health directed the group to cancel the parade.
“Due to the rapidly developing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Parade, scheduled for Sunday, March 15, has been cancelled; this includes the preceding mass and Grand Marshall’s breakfast. This decision was made on direction from the Orange County Department of Health,” the post said. “We will be looking at something for a future date this year once the health concerns have subsided. We will keep you informed as best we can. We wholeheartedly thank the community for their support year after year. This parade is near and dear to so many in the community. Please stick with us as we work through this together. The health and safety of our community is our number one priority.”
The Orange County Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Day Parade was scheduled for 2 p.m. from the Orange County Government Center. Kevin R. Cummings was to be the Grand Marshal.
Middletown hosted the first parade in 1976. And then to share the parade, it moved around the county, going from Monroe, to Greenwood Lake, Chester, Montgomery, Cornwall, and Highland Falls. This year would have been the 44th annual parade.
There is no word as of yet if it will be rescheduled.
In a statement Wednesday, Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelmen recommended cancelling large public gatherings for the next 14 days.
"The purpose of this action is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities and residents healthy," the statement said. "As this recommendation is being issued (March 11 at 1 p.m.), there are no cases of COVID-19 in Orange County known to exist by the Orange County Health Department."
The move is hoped to limit the spread of the virus.
"As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, the Center for Disease Control strongly encourages event organizers and staff to prepare for the possibility of outbreaks in communities," the statement said. "Postponing and canceling mass gatherings and large community events can help protect you, the health of your event participants and the local community."
We will update this story as more information becomes available