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Richmond St. Patrick’s Day Events Called off Due to Coronavirus

Large crowd on closed street
Shamrock the Block brings thousands to Arthur Ashe Boulevard. (Photo: Shamrock the Block)

*VPM intern Alan Rodriguez Espinoza reported this story

Large  weekend events are being called off as a precaution to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus disease, including upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Richmond.

The cancellations come as Gov. Ralph Northam and Richmond city leaders issue recommendations against public gatherings. A statewide emergency declaration was made Thursday, followed by a number of emergency declarations in localities including Richmond. Today, the state ordered all public schools to close for a minimum of two weeks.

Shamrock the Block, a yearly celebration in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood, is postponed until further notice. The event was slated to take place along Arthur Ashe Boulevard this Saturday. 

Michael McIlyar is the manager at Growlers to Go, which is one of the many businesses that planned on participating in the event. Despite the impacts on the shop, he says postponing the event was “the right thing to do.”

“Take it seriously,” McIlyar said. “There’s no need to have 40,000 people and risk infection.”

Blarney Bash, a similar event at Shockoe Bottom’s 17th Street Farmers Market, was called off . Tim Christian was hoping to attract some customers to his fruit and vegetable stand during the event.

“I understand because that’s pretty serious,” Christian said. “I’m gonna eat my fruits and vegetables, I’m gonna be blessed, I’m gonna be happy. I’m gonna keep my hands clean and I’ll leave it at that.”

While it’s more than a week away,the Church Hill Irish Festival was also postponed. 

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