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Group hosts St. Patrick's Day celebration

Posted at 2:03 PM, Mar 15, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Many events across the metro were either postponed or canceled Saturday due to concerns over coronavirus -- but one St. Patrick’s Day celebration still took place.

Michael McCarville has celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Omaha for the past 50 years.

But a celebration that usually brings out thousands was scaled back this year due to growing concerns over coronavirus.

"The last time they canceled a parade, I think, was WWII," said Michael McCarville of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Father Flanagan division.

City officials canceled the parade in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Many city leaders have urged social distancing.

"Pretty sad but our spirits are pretty good here," said Bobbie Guyette.

But the Father Flanagan division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians still held their event.

“The reason that we're going on with this is we truly believe that we're in one of the safer communities in the world," said McCarville.

With hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes front and center, many still made it a point to come out and celebrate.

“In spite of all that, we're here celebrating our heritage all month long and this is just kicking that off," said Joe Casey.

McCarville said the event has a greater impact on the community.

"We want the community to know what we're doing for the community... so this whole St. Patrick's Day celebration has been a way for us to raise funds for our 501c(3) organization, which is called Irish Charities of Nebraska," said McCarville.

He hopes the parade will go on without any issues next year.