St. Patrick's Day Parades Return After Long COVID Hiatus

The annual event, which dates back to 1762, was one of the first celebrations to be canceled when the pandemic began back in March 2020.
Posted at 8:59 PM, Mar 17, 2022

Crowds gathered in a sea of green in Savannah, Georgia. It hosts the largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the south. 

In New York City, the rain didn't stop an estimated 150,000 people from gathering to watch the world's largest St. Patrick's Day parade as it marched down Midtown Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. 

Denis Fitzgerald owns Fitzgerald's Irish Pub in Manhattan. He says he's thrilled to welcome the iconic parade back to the Big Apple after a long COVID hiatus. 

"Exactly two years ago last night at 8:00 p.m., we had to close," he said. "You look back at that and all we've been through over the past two years and it's great to celebrate again. ... This is a really big day."

In Decatur, Georgia, Gareth O'Sullivan is welcoming patrons back to his pub, O'Sullivans.

"Take a really, really busy Saturday night and multiply it by three," he said. "People are coming out from 11:00 a.m. all the way through midnight."

And right down the street from O'Sullivan's, at Fado Irish Pub, it's a welcomed sight — people gathering without masks to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in person once again.

In Dublin, Ireland, around 400,000 people attended events for the first time since 2019. 

Cell phone video shows the festivities in Dublin's city center.  

Irish pubs across the country are packed with people from near and far. After all, everyone's at least a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day.   

"It's a religious holiday at its core, of course, but it's a celebration of Ireland and we plan on celebrating today for sure," Fitzgerald said.