The San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade Goes Virtual for a Second Time


Photo by Quentin Rey on Unsplash

Paige Mays, Online News Editor

The 170-year-long annual St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled for the second year in a row. The parade usually begins at Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, and is usually popular among Miramonte students. Instead of an in-person celebration, it was virtually conducted because of COVID-19 health concerns. The parade was virtually celebrated via YouTube live stream on March 13, and viewers could watch the parade during or after the celebration.

“With the current situation, we do not foresee the possibility of an actual physical parade,” the United Irish Societies of San Francisco (UISSF) said, regarding the future status of the parade. 

As an alternative, the society asked Bay Area communities to compile videos and photos that include memories from past parades to be implemented in the virtual parade. “The video you submit could come from your group getting together to record it, or it could be a recording you have made in the past, whether in our parade or other performance or event. We will have an announcer introducing and describing the videos,” UISSF said. UISSF also stated that they wanted families or groups with notable areas along the parade route to incorporate videos or pictures of their groups.

The parade begins with traditional Irish music and transitions into a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge. Various speakers comment, such as the Mayor of San Francisco: London Breed, and it then shifts into speeches, and videos, and photos of individuals celebrating the holiday.

According to a poll conducted on The Mirador Instagram, 21 percent out of 79 percent of students were planning on attending the parade. “My friends and I were thinking about going and really wanted to but obviously couldn’t because it was canceled,” freshman Hadley Orr said.

“It’s understandable that public events, like the parade, have to be canceled. Large public gatherings can cause a spike in cases, so I personally think it was justifiable. But, I hope that with the vaccines continuing to roll out, public events can start back up,” junior Izzy Pursiano said. According to Pursiano, attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade was a plan hoping to be fulfilled this year after last year’s cancellation.

“I think people we’re probably annoyed that it got canceled cause it’s just a fun experience overall, but I think it was understandable why it couldn’t happen,” Orr said.