Thanks to coronavirus concerns in Eastern Iowa and across the country, one of the best annual traditions in Cedar Rapids won't be happening next week. According to an article from KCRG, the 2020 SaPaDaPaSo St. Patrick's Day Parade has officially been canceled.

KCRG reports that Carol Bryant, the president of the St. Patrick's Day Parade Society, broke the news yesterday. The article says:

"'Our focus, as always, is for the health and well being of our participants and spectators of the parade and the citizens of our community,' Bryant said, in a statement. 'With the current health situation, we believe this is the responsible decision.'"

Carol spoke to KCRG this morning and told them that the organization talked to the Linn County Health Department before coming to their decision. You can see her full interview HERE.

The SaPaDaPaSo parade has been happening on St. Patrick's Day in Cedar Rapids since 1976, so it will feel a little strange to go without it this year. They do plan to continue the event next year, but in the meantime, parade entry fees for 2020 will be refunded.

The organization has posted an update to the official Facebook event page. It reads:

"SaPaDaPaSo made the decision late last night to cancel this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For 45 years this parade has gone on through gale-force winds, heavy rain, sleet, and sunny times. Our focus is and always will be for the SAFETY and wellbeing of our participants, spectators, volunteers, and the community. With the current health situation, we believe this is the responsible decision. Parade participants will receive a separate email today. Full refunds will be provided. Please help us keep the message positive. SaPaDaPaSo began receiving cancellations this week as well as numerous calls, messages & concerns from the community and volunteers. We are a small volunteer organization. The parade requires volunteers to man the streets. SaPaDaPaSo will be BACK next year for another GRAND parade!!"