On March 14, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “I am not ready today at this hour to say, let’s have a city with no bars, no restaurants, no rec centers, no libraries. I’m not there.” But he was there the next day, shutting down the city while allowing St. Patrick’s Day revelers one last chance to become superspreaders, letting them have one final party night on March 16. A year later, Gotham has suffered 775,000 cases and more than 30,000 deaths, so for 2021, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be virtual, but restaurants are back open. For those who are not planning on cramming into any pubs quite yet, there are several online gatherings to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.
The parade, a New York City institution since 1762, will be virtual in 2021, honoring first responders and essential workers. There will be events all day long, from a livestreamed mass and a composite of previous parades to live entertainment and interviews.
The Gingold Theatrical Group, which is dedicated to the work of George Bernard Shaw, is hosting a livestreamed Irish Poetry Slam with Robert Cuccioli, Tyne Daly, Melissa Errico, Jessica Hecht, Daniel Jenkins, Andrea Marcovicci, Tonya Pinkins, Thom Sesma, Renee Taylor, Sally Wilfert, Karen Ziemba, and others taking part in an open mic night beginning at 6:00 (admission is free with advance RSVP), with people contributing poetry, songs, toasts, jokes, monologues, sayings, and more, preferably by or inspired by Irish writers. "Ordinarily, we’d be having our annual Golden Shamrock Gala on the seventeenth, but . . . nope!” Gingold artistic director David Staller said in a statement. “This shindig will take place over Zoom! Not Irish? Not a problem. On St. Pat’s, we’re ALL a little Irish. This is just a party. Not a performance. Not a fundraiser. Just a chance for us all to raise a glass and be ‘together.’”
Meanwhile, Knowledge Workings Theater Company, started in 2018 by Joe Queenan, T. J. Elliott, and Marjorie Phillips Elliott, is holding its Second Annual Virtual (Not Necessarily Virtuous) St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Anyone can participate by making their own video, following specific instructions on YouTube here and seeing what contributors posted last year. It’s free, but it you want to donate, Knowledge suggests you do so to the Irish Rep, which is presenting JM Synge’s The Aran Islands, starring Brendan Conroy, March 16-28, including 3:00 and 8:00 screenings March 17.
On Wednesday night at 8:00 GMT, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival concludes with Barróg Lá Fhéile Phádraig, featuring performances by Lisa O’Neill, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Caoimhe Ní Fhlatharta, Seamus and Ronan Ó Flatharta, Diarmuid and Brian Mac Gloin, Cormac Begley, Ronan O’Snodaigh and Myles O’Reilly, Doireann, and Siún Glackin and Mohammad Syfkhan, sharing a big virtual hug extending across the Atlantic.