‘We’re going to bring the parade to the bars’: Newport cancels postponed St. Patrick’s Day parade

East Bay

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — For the second year in a row, Newport’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been canceled.

The parade was one of the first events canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Organizers were hoping to hold the annual event in September, after being forced to postpone it in March 2021.

Parade Chairman Dennis Sullivan said about 50,000 people normally attend the parade, so after speaking with the city, they decided Newport would be too busy for that amount of people in September.

But they are planning another way to celebrate.

Sullivan said they plan on holding a halfway party on Sept. 25.

“It’s a small halfway party, but this year what we’re doing is sharing the entertainment, so we’re going to bring the parade to the bars,” he explained.

The bands will hop from bar to bar, with five bars already agreeing to participate, according to Sullivan.

He said this event won’t need the city council’s approval, unlike the parade.

“Everyone is charging their own separate fees and what have you, all we’re doing is sharing the bands,” Sullivan said.

September will act as a makeup for Irish Heritage Month, so look out for Irish heritage events like green eggs and ham, as well as a roast for the grand marshal.

“Come next year in March it will be a bigger and better parade and all this leading up to it will help to keep people satisfied,” Sullivan said.

If you’re a Newport business and want to be involved in the September festivities, you can send an email to dennis@newportirish.com.

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