Dallas County Health and Human Services and City of Dallas officials have decided to cancel the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade and block party scheduled for Saturday. The City of Dallas Convention and Event Services is canceling special event permits for the festivities.

“While our region still has only a few ‘presumptive positive’ COVID-19 cases that appear to be related to travel, we are actively making contingency plans for the spread of this illness,” Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement, Culture Map reports. “Before we made the final decision, I gathered input from our health care leaders and our public health partners; discussed the ramifications for our police and firefighters at the parade; met with Governor Abbott; and reviewed how COVID-19 has spread in other parts of the country and the world.”

The Greenville Avenue Area Business Association, which organizes the parade to raise money for student scholarships, asks that the community consider contributing to a GoFundMe campaign so the tradition of giving can continue. Neighbors can also donate by texting STPAT to 22525.

Each year, the organization awards between $10,000 and $30,000 to Dallas ISD seniors. The goal this year was to raise $41,000 in honor of what would have been the 41st parade. 

Residents had mixed feelings about whether the parade should have been canceled. One concerned neighbor even created a petition to cancel the event, writing, “I’m concerned about the thousands of people who will be congregating for the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade hosted by the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association and the Navarro Group. I believe that having an event like this is irresponsible amid an outbreak.”

What do you think? Is it a necessary or dramatic gesture?