Newport mayor: Slow vaccine rollout led to St. Patrick’s Day parade postponement

East Bay

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Newport has postponed its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade for a second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview on 12 News Now at 4, Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said the decision was made in part because of the slow vaccine distribution.

“We missed it last year,” she said. “It’s like the opening of spring and summer and not to have and not to have it two years in a row is very difficult.”

It takes a year to plan the event, according to the mayor, so they are thinking the event may be held sometime in the fall.

“They’ve been talking about September, October time frame,” she said. “It could be perfect. We usually have great weather in the fall, and hopefully we will have been vaccinated by then or had that immunity that we developed and we’d be able to have a parade.”

Napolitano says it’s hard to tell what the summer will look like in Newport, because it’s all dependent on how many people have been able to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re hoping that perhaps there will be an increase, a major increase, in the vaccination program and that we could pretty much get towards a normal summer,” she said. “But right now it’s just so iffy.”

Napolitano said she hopes there will be movement soon in the effort to develop the city’s north end and demolish the former Newport Grand casino.

“It’s prime for economic development and certainly to contribute to the state,” she said.

Watch the full interview with Mayor Napolitano in the video above.

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