South Bend St. Patrick's Day celebrations canceled amid coronavirus concerns

NOW: South Bend St. Patrick’s Day celebrations canceled amid coronavirus concerns

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- With one confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in St. Joseph County and likely more positive results on the way, South Bend has decided to cancel all of the DTSB Paddy Party events—including the parade.

St. Patrick’s Day events draw in a lot of customers at downtown bars during the Pub Tour, but now all events are canceled and it could impact local business.

“I kind of got blind-sided there, but it is what it is, you know,” Zachary Jones said, who lives in South Bend.

The cancellation comes just days before the annual Paddy Party and Pub Tour and local downtown bars are trying to figure out what to do next.

“On these St. Paddy day Friday’s, they bring in a lot of people who normally don’t go out so I think it’s going to be a little slower than normal,” Patrick VanBergen said, Bartender and Head of Security at Corby’s. “But I don’t think the news of it has hit as hard, like I just found out a couple hours ago.”

“This our weekend,” Terrance Meehan said, Owner and Greeter at Fiddler’s Heart.

Pubs such as Corby’s and Fiddler’s Hearth are staples for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. From shamrocks to Guinness beer, the pubs honor all things Irish.

With health concerns growing throughout the county, patrons and owners alike agreed that cancelling the events is the correct thing to do.

“If people are getting sick, then you know, most public events I’d just shut them down,” Jones said. “Just that way you don’t have people, you know, coughing on each other and getting each other sick.”

“I trust that the city officials if they see the need to cancel these big group activites for the safety of others…I’m on board with it,” VanBergen said.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s the right thing to do,” Meehan said.

Both Corby’s and Fiddler’s Hearth plan to be open to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day next Tuesday.

“We gotta get through this virus and get things back to normal,” Meehan said.

DTSB and the St. Joseph County Department of Health plan to release a formal statement about the cancellations on Thursday.

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