St. Patrick’s Day events around Fort Wayne called off amid virus concerns

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Fort Wayne will be more blue than green.

Deer Park Irish Pub has postponed its St. Patrick’s Day festivities and the downtown Get Green Fest has been canceled over concerns of the growing coronavirus outbreak.

The 22nd annual Clover Classic was set to begin Saturday and run through Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, at the bar at 1530 Leesburg Road. It promised everything “from green beer to great music, Irish bingo and much more.”

Owner Tony Henry told WANE 15 on Thursday that the public’s health was more important than making a profit.

“It’s all about health, Hoosier Health. Keeping people healthy. I know this is a massive crowd of people that come to this event. We build it up to really a fever pitch. I mean, there is a lot of folks that come to this and I just felt in my heart that this is the right thing to do. It’s not all about profit. Sometimes we have to put people over profit and this is a situation where I needed to do that,” said Henry.

Henry initially said the event would not be rescheduled, but a press release later said that a future date for the celebration would be forthcoming.

Later Thursday, WANE 15 learned the Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Union’s Get Green Fest had been called off, as well. It was supposed to be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Firefighters issued this statement:

As difficult as this choice was, we have decided to postpone Get Green Fest. As much as our firefighters love putting on this event for the citizens of Fort Wayne and giving back to local charities through donating the proceeds, we strongly feel that protecting the health of our racers, volunteers, their families, and the community comes first. So we’re listening to the public health experts who have recommended actions to limit people’s exposure to one another, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the members of our population who are at greatest risk from the disease. We are disappointed not to be able to hold this event as planned, but are making efforts to reschedule. We will be sending out more announcements in the coming weeks.

On Friday then, J.K. O’Donnell’s said while it was still planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, it canceled its outdoor tent. The restaurant said it planned to close after the holiday to “deep clean everything.”

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