HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - Hilton Head Island has canceled its Saint Patrick’s Day Parade this year due to the pandemic.
In a statement, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee said the parade is canceled after many discussions and meetings with town and county officials considering on-going concerns related to COVID-19.
“The planning committee looks forward to March 13, 2022, when the delayed celebration undoubtedly will turn the island greener than ever before,” said the HHI Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.
“This is a real island event. As opposed to anything else when people come from all over. These are people who live here and look forward to it every year,” said Mayor John McCann. “They called us and he got some input from us and I then called every town council member and everyone was in favor for one reason or the other of canceling,” said McCann.
Which means March 17th will look a little bit different, especially in Coligny Plaza.
Normally the Coligny Beach public parking would be full of cars ready to celebrate. But this year there will be no parade of floats and organizations lined up. Instead the town is urging people to stay home and celebrate on your own.
“If you’re disappointed and want to do something, turn the TV on, sit back, enjoy life, it will be better next year. I guarantee it will be better next year,” said McCann.
Locals and visitors are disappointed.
“It’s one of the most exciting things I think about this whole area, and especially going down to see something turn green, but I mean hey, it is what it is,” said June Clark who stays on Hilton Head Island.
Some I spoke to say they wish the parade was on so local businesses could see the benefit.
“Whenever I can just come out, come down and support, and try to put in my money and time and my family we do because we know how hard it is.”
But despite concerns for the local economy, everyone I spoke to says canceling the parade was for the best.
“You look at the negative points and it’s really not worth it,” said McCann.
“I think it’s a good move because safety first. I do,” said Clark.
“Tough decision. People look forward to this all year long. I look forward to it all year long.”