High security costs scuttle DC’s St. Patrick’s Parade

WASHINGTON — Citing the high costs of government-required security, organizers say this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade in Washington has been canceled.

The parade on Constitution Avenue usually steps off the Sunday before March 17, featuring marching bands, bagpipes, Irish step dancers and floats. About 100 units have comprised some past parades.

The St. Patrick’s Parade Committee of Washington D.C. says the costs of preventive security measures increased sharply after the 2016 truck attack in Nice, France. Since then, major gatherings in D.C. are often secured by multiple street closings employing dump trucks or other heavy vehicles in addition to a robust presence of police.

Organizers say the high security costs coupled with stagnant funding have foiled plans for this year’s parade. The parade relies on private fundraising and a grant from the D.C. government.

There are other St. Patrick’s Parades scheduled to take place this year in places including Alexandria, Manassas, Gaithersburg and Annapolis.

The group behind the D.C. parade says plans remain intact and fundraising is underway for the parade in 2020 which will mark the 50th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Parade in the nation’s capital.

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