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Sioux Falls St. Patrick's Day Parade canceled

(KSFY)
Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 5:44 PM CDT
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Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken says a Sioux Falls St. Patrick's Day tradition is being canceled.

In a tweet Wednesday, TenHaken said as a proactive community safety measure, the St. Patrick's Day parade scheduled for this Saturday in downtown Sioux Falls has been canceled. The event is sponsored by the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber President & CEO Jeff Griffin said the decision to cancel the event was made after consulting with city and state officials and reviewing the Center for Disease Control guidelines for mass gatherings. As cases of COVID-19 continue to appear across the nation, parade organizers wanted to do their part to slow its spread.

“It was certainly not an easy decision to cancel a parade that so many of our citizens look forward to all year – but it is the responsible decision in light of the situation,” Griffin said. “Our greatest priority is the health and welfare of all our citizens.”

South Dakota health officials have confirmed 8 cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Wednesday afternoon.

The event typically draws thousands of people from across the region to downtown Sioux Falls. The wellbeing of parade participants, spectators, volunteers and the community is the focus of event organizers.