HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The 2021 Greater Hartford Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee announced Thursday.

In a statement, the Committee – which sponsors the parade – said, “In the observance of current public health circumstances…[we have] decided to cancel [the] parade previously scheduled for Saturday, March 13, 2021.”

“This decision was not made lightly and we have everyone’s health and well-being at the forefront of our decision,” said Parade Chairwoman Elizabeth Saunders.

Parade organizers thanked the many volunteers who have been instrumental in the success of the parade over the nearly five decades.

The Committee went on to say, “as long as public health conditions allow, [we are] planning a celebration of Irish culture with a ‘Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day’ event for the fall of 2021, in the Capital City, in anticipation of the Fiftieth Annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 12, 2022.”

Mayor Bronin released a statement on the cancellation of next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, saying, “This is the right and responsible decision, but it’s also one more blow to downtown restaurants and bars that have been so hard hit. Those restaurants urgently need relief, whether from the federal government or the state – so they can be around when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2022 with the biggest parade yet.”