‘Irish, you were here’: Community gathers around Ocean View after parade canceled by weather
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For the third year in a row, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will not march through the streets of Norfolk. COVID-19 has forced organizers to cancel it for the past two years.
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This year, however, the weather has rained on the parade.
“It’s very, very disappointing, heartbreaking not to make it at the very end,” said a member of the parade planning committee.
Norfolk Vice Mayor Martin Thomas broke the news Thursday afternoon on Facebook.
On Saturday, bleacher-style benches and traces of police detours were still visible along the streets where the purported parade was to march.
Cold gusts of wind and rain covered most of the area when the parade was scheduled. Some areas even saw small snowfalls, but nothing stuck to the ground.
A party that was supposed to be part of the parade was still taking place. Business owners and locals have come together to welcome the tradition again.
“We depend on it as a major fundraiser for our club here,” Powell said of the venue, the Columbian Club of Norfolk. “So those two years that we didn’t have it, we had to struggle.”
For 55 years, people have marked their calendars for the massive parade. Some people were unhappy with the cancellation, but most remained positive.
“I love it. It’s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that’s been canceled for three years, but you know what this place makes better,” one reveler said.
The cancellation on top of pandemic slowdowns means neighboring businesses are unlikely to get as big a boost in sales this weekend.
Business owners like Torrie from Torrie’s Boot Camp always use the weekend to network and hang out in the community.
“Well, it stinks, you know,” the business owner said. “Like I said, Mother Nature is going through something right now. So it’s okay, but nothing is holding us back.