St. Patrick's Day

‘That Day Is Huge for Us': South Boston Businesses React to Nixing of St. Patrick's Day Parade

The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade through the streets of South Boston has been called off due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Many in South Boston are planning to make the best of St. Patrick's Day weekend, despite the coronavirus threat that forced the city to call off the iconic parade.

The decision was announced Monday night, less than a week before Sunday's parade was supposed to happen in South Boston. Bridget Nee-Walsh, owner of the Irish pride shop called "Southie's Own," said she understands the reason, but she is still concerned about her business.

"That day is huge for us. It's like 30% of our income. It's our second Christmas, really, and it keeps us going through the summer months," Nee-Walsh said.

She said it is too late to cancel shipments of the extra stock she ordered, so she still plans to be open on what would have been parade day to sell it.

"We also still ship, so if you feel like you have to quarantine yourself, you can still wear the green in the middle of your living room," Nee-Walsh said.

While she wants everyone to be safe, she is not the only one hoping people do not stay away if they want to celebrate. The owners of D's Keys, a dueling piano bar in South Boston, are keeping their doors open for their St. Patrick's Day party on Sunday afternoon.

"We know there are a lot of people in town who have come just for this, and we want to make sure that those people know Boston is a fun place to hang out on St. Patrick's Day," said Matt Nichols, managing partner of D's Keys.

While they plan to be open, they are also taking sanitation seriously.

"The cleaning crew has offered to come and spend an extra hour here, just so everything is perfect for the big day," said Robert Morse, managing partner of D's Keys.

They hope to be an option for tourists like Anne-Marie Gahagan. she told NBC10 Boston that she and her friends still plan to come from Scotland.

"We've been planning the trip for months, so we'll just make the most of it," Gahagan said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he understands not everyone will stay home, but he hopes everyone understands why the decision was made.

"We want to make sure that we're safe. If we don't take precautions today, we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. It could be far worse tomorrow, and the concerns that they have could be far worse," Walsh said.

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