St. Patrick’s day celebrations at church or the bar included COVID-19 safety mandates

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 11:57 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - From religious celebrations to the bar, St. Patrick’s day celebrations are different during the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Patrick Catholic Church usually has a massive corn beef and cabbage dinner along with Irish dancing. The Irish dancers still made an appearance. The feast did not.

However, there were some traditional Irish snacks.

“We felt comfortable gathering in front of the church outside here. Everything was individually wrapped,” explained Father Lawrence Peck, the Pastor of the church. “Everyone was just trying to take care of each other.”

Everyone was socially distanced, wearing masks because Father Lawrence said they want to come together without risking anyone’s health.

“We have to still come together and see each other. It is lonely without everyone. It is great that we are able to provide just this little bit,” said Father Lawrence.

As the sun went down, the St. Patrick’s day parties moved to the bars. Those celebrating in downtown Gainesville were managing to keep safe.

“We just came from Cypress and Grove, which was lovely,” said Kenna Prins. “We are coming downtown, and now we are headed to Loosey’s.”

The downtown bars offered socially distanced outdoor seating, but according to Prins, the Midtown bars not so much.

“We know some people at Midtown right now, and it looks really crowded. not super safe, not the greatest,” said Prins

She said the opportunity to celebrate safely outdoors is a sign of hope.

“Going out and still being responsible, still wearing my mask,” explained Prins. “Also, still being in safe locations as well because I feel like I’m doing the right thing.”

No matter where people were celebrating this St. Patrick’s day, they relied on more than just the luck of the Irish to stay safe.

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