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St. Patrick's Day Festivities Canceled Due to Coronavirus: Here's the Economic Impact

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It's an unusually quiet St. Patrick's Day.

This year, the Irish celebration will be much subdued, as St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivities around the world have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus.

Any festivities, including home parties, are strongly discouraged. In the United States, President Trump released guidelines on March 16 telling Americans to avoid gatherings of over 10 people. 

These measures are important to “flattening the curve” and slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

In Ireland, all parades and festivals were cancelled.

New York City’s parade, which draws an estimated 2 million spectators, was postponed for the first time in more than 250 years. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and many more cities all called off their festivities in light of the spread of COVID-19.

The parade cancellations, most of which were announced last week, will have wide-reaching economic impact, particularly on the hospitality and food services industries. Many bars and restaurants traditionally rely on St. Patrick’s Day to boost sales and kickstart spring. However, now that many restaurants and bars have been ordered to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the cancellation of St. Patrick's Day festivities may be the least of their worries.

An estimated $6.2 billion would have been spent on St. Patrick’s Day in 2020, according to WalletHub. In a normal year, there’s a 174% increase in beer sales on St. Patrick’s Day compared with an average day.

Instead, most of the world is wearing green inside today, and posting St. Patrick’s Day photos to social media instead.

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