BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The St. Patrick's Day Parade on Delaware Avenue in Downtown Buffalo will make its return after it was canceled the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the United Irish-American Association (UIAA), the parade will take place March 20 at 2 p.m. in Downtown Buffalo.
"The UIAA along with the City of Buffalo are cautiously optimistic that the Parade will go on as scheduled. Our concerns for the health and safety of both the participants and the viewing public are paramount. We encourage all participants and attendees to follow the COVID protocols recommended by the CDC, New York State, Erie County and the City of Buffalo," the website says.
Irish eyes will be smiling once again as Buffalo welcomes back the annual parade. It has remained a long-standing tradition in a city with a rich Irish history.
Buffalo's St. Patrick's day parade is one of the longest running public parades, dating back to 1811.
When the pandemic shut it down back in March of 2020, it dealt a major blow to the bar business in the Chippewa District.
Bottoms Up manager Tim Walton says he's thrilled about its anticipated comeback.
“This is one of the biggest days of the year for the bars. It brings people down on the street and it's not a couple of hours — it goes all day long,” declared Walton.
Walton says his bar will open before the start of the 2'o'clock parade and that means big business for all the bars on and near Delaware Avenue.
“St. Patrick’s day parade — bars hit peak for you know six — seven hours for the day, so even though you're open one day, you're kind of hitting the business three, four days or a couple of weekends by being open for one big day where you're always at max capacity,” Walton noted.
The traditional parade route will also be back. Participants will gather at Niagara Square and head north up Delaware Avenue.
“And you bet, we’re going to be screaming the news from the roof tops! They're going to really enjoy to hear that,” remarked Jessica McLaughlin, parent, Clann Na Cara Irish Dancers.
The Clann Na Cara Irish Dancers will also be returning to the parade.
“Returning after two years — how do you feeling about that?” Buckley asked.
“Oh, we are so excited. Our dancers live to entertain Buffalo and the St. Patrick's Day Parade — it's really an exciting time for us,” replied McLaughlin.
McLaughlin says she is expecting all 120 of their dancers to join this year's parade to show off their unique skills.
“We do like to do their traditional Irish jig and we will do some of that, but we have some step dancers with their hard shoes on and you'll be seeing some of that too. It's really exciting. I know that's what gets the crowd going,” McLaughlin remarked.
Parade organizers tell 7 News they will gather this Sunday to announce all their parade plans.
But on their web page they are emphasizing concerns for the health and safety of all participates and the public, saying it will be paramount and encourage everyone to follow COVID protocols.
“People are sick of being home. They want to come out and this has always been a big event,” Walton said.
“I’m very much looking forward to wearing my sash and walking along with my dancer, McLaughlin replied.
You can find more information here.