SOMERVILLE, NJ - For the second year in a row, the St. Patrick's Day Parade down Main Street has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement released by the Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee reads:

"It is with disappointment and an overabundance of caution that the Somerville Saint Patrick’s Parade Committee will be postponing this year’s 2021 parade due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

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The annual event draws dozens of marching bands, including those from Somerville High School and Immaculata High School, pipe and drum units and a contingent of Mummers who travel from Philadelphia to participate in the parade with spectators packing Main Street from Grove Street on the east end of town to Doughty Avenue on the western end.

"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, EMT’s and Fire Fighters responding selflessly to calls," said Larry Doyle, parade chairman.

"We want to assure we are doing everything possible to not make their jobs more difficult during this pandemic and continue to minimize the spread of this disease within our communities and our families," he added.

Other Saint Patrick's Day parades have been canceled in Morristown, East Orange, Belmar and Hackettstown, according to Doyle.

"Additionally, our hearts also go out to our small business and restaurants that serve our Downtown Somerville area. They have provided us great service, products and hospitality over the years.  Let us please continue to remember them during this period of time for your business, service and hospitality needs," Doyle said.

Hoping that the pandemic is under control by next year, the parade committee has set March 13, 2020, as the next parade date.