SOMERVILLE, NJ — The St. Patrick's Day Parade down Main Street in Somerville has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, joining processions in Belmar, Morristown, East Orange and Hackettstown that also have been postponed. 

"It is with disappointment and an overabundance of caution that the Somerville St. Patrick’s Parade Committee will be postponing this year’s 2021 parade due to the COVID-19 pandemic," a statement by the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee reads.

It's the second consecutive year that the health crisis has prompted the cancellation of the annual event, which draws dozens of marching bands, pipe and drum units and a contingent of Mummers from Philadelphia who march down Main Street packed with spectators.

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"As we continue to see the promising efforts building towards vaccination, our hearts continue to go out to our front-line heroes in our hospitals, testing centers, emergency medical personnel and our first responders such as police officers, EMTs and firefighters responding selflessly to calls," said Larry Doyle, parade chairman.

Hoping that the pandemic is under control by next year, the parade committee has set March 13, 2022 as the next parade date.