Lack of money, volunteers cancels St. Patrick's Day parade and party
Ottawa's traditional St. Patrick's Day parade and party won't happen for the fourth straight year because organizers couldn't increase funding to match the rising costs.
Sean Kealey, president of the Irish Society of the National Capital Region, said on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning Wednesday that the plug was pulled Monday night.
"All of the things we use for the party and for the parade are all industries that took a hit during COVID and they've had to increase their prices to stay alive," he said.
As one example, Kealey said his organization used to get a deal for barricades for about $3,500, but the cost has risen to $9,000.
Price tags of about $25,000 to $30,000 for the parade and $60,000 for the party that followed haven't been met with increased funding, he said.
"It's an expensive proposition for a small non-profit group. We've always been able to manage it but this year we just couldn't."
The society also lacks the number of volunteers necessary to run the events.
The previous three editions were cancelled because of COVID-19.
Some of its Irish Festival events are still happening including trivia, a potluck lunch and a March 17 mass.
"We've received a lot of support in the past 24 hours so we're very hopeful that we can get things back together for 2024," Kealey said.