Amid coronavirus, St. Patrick’s Day planners say the show will go on

Annual parade expected to draw thousands to the Highlands

Amid coronavirus, St. Patrick’s Day planners say the show will go on

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Coronavirus patients across the globe are being asked to heed the advice: Stay home.

Organizers of Saturday’s popular St. Patrick’s Day parade are saying the same thing.

The parade will go on, and so will all the fun plans surrounding the annual event, but like it’s been said repeatedly -- wash your hands and stay home if you’re feeling under the weather, as large-scale events continue to fill the calendar around town.

“This parade is not like other ones,” Ancient Order of Hibernians President John O’Dwyer said. “It’s really the people’s parade.”

It’s the time of year where Bardstown Road welcomes thousands of people wearing green, celebrating Irish pride, like Louisville resident Will Clemens.

“I worked at some of the restaurants on Bardstown Road, and St. Patrick’s Day in particular was a really fun day,” he said. “(It was) a ton of people having a blast.”

But will that be the same this year? As the state continues tallying up the coronavirus cases, Clemens, who habitually attends the parade and festivities in the Highlands, said he hopes so.

“(It’s) kind of sad,” Clemens said. “(The) thought that some of those events might be a little less populated and a little less exciting than they naturally should be.”

In a few weeks, as more festivals and Derby-season events that draw big crowds fill your planner, “everybody should use their own common sense to make their own decisions,” O’Dwyer said. “If you want to come out, come out. If you don’t want to come out and you’re worried about (coronavirus), by all means stay home.”

The Kentucky Derby Festival has not released any additional information about Derby week events. KDF officials say they’ll continue to monitor any developments regarding the coronavirus.

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