SaPaDaPaSo parade in Cedar Rapids canceled due to coronavirus caution

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cedar Rapids Monday, March 17, 2014. (Jim Slosiarek/Gazette-KCRG-TV9)
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cedar Rapids Monday, March 17, 2014. (Jim Slosiarek/Gazette-KCRG-TV9)(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 10:49 PM CDT
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A major St. Patrick's Day tradition in Cedar Rapids will not take place in 2020 due to concerns about the spread of novel coronavirus.

The SaPaDaPaSo parade, held annually since 1976 on March 17, has been canceled, according to Carol Bryant, the president of the St. Patrick's Day Parade Society. It's a first for the event.

"Our focus, as always, is for the health and well being of our participants and spectators of the parade and the citizens of our community," Bryant said, in a statement. "With the current health situation we believe this is the responsible decision."

Bryant says the organization spoke with the Linn County Health Department and local lawmakers leading up to making their decision.

Bryant says they made the right decision and they wanted to do what is safe for the community.

"If it was our parents, our children, our grandchildren, that came downtown and picked up something, we'd be devastated," said Bryant. "And you know, it's a parade, it's not life or death, you know, we'll have it next year, and after 45 years, who would have ever thought."

Organizers said that all entry fees paid by parade participants will be refunded. They also realize their decision will likely have an impact on local bars and restaurants.

Bryant said that the organization plans on holding the parade in 2021.

Bryant wanted to add a clarification regarding one of our interviews with her. She mentioned she spoke to a teacher who knows someone who has gotten sick with the CoVid-19 Coronavirus. Bryant reiterates the person sick is not a teacher.