San Antonio St. Patrick’s Day Parade cancelled after 44 years - VIDEO
Mounting costs result in annual street parade attended by 80,000 to be cancelled
The Harp and Shamrock Society of Texas, who have hosted the annual celebration attended by more than 80,000 people for over four decades, said that rising costs forced them to cancel this 2012 parade.
“We are the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the state,” society president Terence Peak told Kens5.com.
“The cost that the city fees involve in barricades and police officers plus other fees is over $12,000.”
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“We can’t afford this type of expense and we don’t seem to have any support from the city.”
Peak said that a lack of city support means they have not been granted a waiver for certain fees associated with a parade in the past, and as a result they have cancelled the parade.
San Antonio’s great tradition of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade started back in 1967. Twenty members of the society laid a wreath on the door of the shrine while Irish tunes were played by the Central Catholic High School Band.
According to the society’s site, “In March of 1968, the first St. Patrick's Day Parade started in downtown San Antonio with 250 marchers walking about four blocks to the Alamo.”
Now more than 80,000 San Antonians and visitors watch the parade every year as schools, veteran's groups, local businesses, and representatives of the military community wind through the street. The San Antonians even dye the river green every year and rename it “The River Shannon” for the day.
Peak called on the public and those who support the old tradition to contact their elected officials.
“Talk to your councilman and say ‘We miss this and is there any way you can work with the Harp and Shamrock Society to make it easier on them or affordable for them?’”
Despite the street parade being cancelled, Peak assured that the society would still host a week full of events to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
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