COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Colorado Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which was scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
“I want to emphasize the decision was made out of an abundance of caution and not an because of an assessment of heightened risk, ” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said.
Suthers holding a press conference Thursday along with members of the El Paso County Public Health Department.
As of Thursday morning, only one person in El Paso County has tested positive for the virus.
County officials not ruling out the possibility of having future mobile testing sites.
“We are in conversation about a mobile testing site, we know Denver has been working on that and they are communicating with us about the logistics required,” Director of El Paso County Public Health Susan Wheelan said
According to Suthers, the city doesn’t have any funding available for small businesses but he hopes to meet with state and federal authorities regarding available assistance.
No word yet on how the coronavirus pandemic could affect future events like the Space Symposium or tourism.
“We don’t know how long this is going to last or how quickly the situation progresses, we will continue to advertise our city as a destination for summer tourism,” Suthers said.
Event organizers hope to reschedule the 5k race, leprechaun runs, and 50k bike race for weekend dates in September. They’re also considering a “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” parade sometime in September.
Parade chairman John O’Donnell had multiple conversations with city and health officials but ultimately felt it was best to put the parade on hold.
“Everyone downtown counted on this weekend,” O’Donnell said. “Business isn’t the greatest in January and February and they look forward to this as extra cash flow, I’m disappointed letting all these folks down. ”
Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, among the many downtown businesses taking a hit. Staff spent months planning their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and ordered additional food.
“It’s a disappointment but we will take it in stride and look forward to having folks visit us even if we won’t have a parade,” Owner Bill Sasz said.
The restaurant is planning to open at 10 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. on Saturday.
They will have a band throughout the day and will be giving away items to people.
“It’s very important to us, many putting lots of work in this,” General Manager Martin Troy said.