With St. Patrick's Day parades falling victim to the coronavirus all around the world, this parade in Auckland, New Zealand, may be the only parade on the planet.
Despite growing concerns over an outbreak of COVID-19 and widespread cancellations of mass gatherings, the Auckland St. Patrick's Day parade went ahead as scheduled on Saturday afternoon.
New Zealand has been relatively immune to COVID-19 so far and has just eight confirmed cases.
Read more: NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade postponed
However, Auckland's Pasifika Festival, which celebrates the country's pacific population, was canceled due to coronavirus fears.
St. Patrick's Day parade organizers issued a plea to attendees to stay at home if they were feeling unwell.
St. Patrick's Day Trust Chairman Russell O'Brien also encouraged participants and spectators to practice good hygiene ahead of the parade on Saturday.
"If you are feeling unwell in any way please don't attend the event - that goes for both participants in the parade and also anyone that's coming out to watch it.
St Patrick’s Parade in Auckland first in the world, possibly the only parade in the world pic.twitter.com/E592jLmiVb— Jane Quinn (@JaneQuinn18) March 13, 2020
"If you are practicing good, safe hygiene practices then it is all okay to come and have some fun."
Any cancellation would have been a disaster for the parade organizers and for the Irish community in New Zealand, according to O'Brien.
"The event takes about a year's planning from a team of volunteers. It is an annual event and it is normally the biggest St Patrick's Day parade in the southern hemisphere, so there is quite a bit of planning that goes into it."
Thousands of people appeared to attend the parade which must have been a welcome relief to all the doom and gloom around the world.
Having said that, it is surprising that any St. Patrick's Day parade went ahead. All across Ireland, Europe and the USA, parades were canceled to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, meaning that the Auckland parade could well be the only major St. Patrick's Day parade in the world.