EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The town of Emerald Isle has canceled it’s St. Patrick’s Day festival for the second year in a row.
Last year, it was out of caution due to COVID-19 and this year, you guessed it -the reason remains the same. The news of the cancellation is one of several events that have been called off due to the pandemic.
The cancellations are having a big impact on beach towns that rely on such celebrations outside the summer season to earn revenue while promoting the area.
The town’s full statement is below:
“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Festival Organizers have made the difficult decision to cancel the Emerald Isle St Patrick’s Festival scheduled for March 13, 2021. Festival planners are following the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) guidance advising against large gatherings until such time as the vaccine distribution and inoculation has been widely implemented.The Town of Emerald Isle
“This is not a decision we take lightly, however for the health of the community we feel it is best to cancel the St Patrick’s Festival for 2021,” said Alesia Sanderson, Festival Director. “While we are missing the 30-year milestone festival, we look forward to hosting the event again March 12, 2022 when we hope the public safety threat has diminished.”
Emerald Isle Public Information Officer Anna Smith said the cancellation was difficult and a disappointment to the community. However, they are taking advantage of COVID limitations by making the most of improving technology. The town is now using a top-notch video and audio system to better communicate with its older year-round population.
“Emerald Isle has really powered through it and were excited for the coming year and were learning to make pivots so we can help our business, residents and communities during these times,” Smith said.
Smith said the new system aims for more virtual civic engagement. While they understand the public is annoyed at the recent cancellation of events, they want people to know they feel the same.