FARGO — The annual St. Patrick's Day parade was scheduled to hit the streets of downtown Fargo Saturday, March 14, but coronavirus concerns put it on the shelf.
Large crowds, floats and bagpipes have gone quiet, leading to downtown seeing a little less traffic than usual, including at businesses along the parade route.
"We have noticed numbers dropping, people like going out and about with the coronavirus being a thing," said Alexus Lura, who works at Boots & Heels.
Lura hasn't been around for many St. Patrick's Day parades, but she noticed it's been emptier than usual this time of year because of the parade's cancellation.
"With the parade, we were expecting bigger numbers, but since it's gotten canceled, not as many people have come in," she said.
However, having no parade hasn't affected every store.
Next door, at Unglued, owner Ashley Morken said business has been steady for the last week, despite cancellations happening left and right.
She's also experienced less traffic in the past week, but said it hasn't impacted sales.
"We love St. Patty's Day, and we do love parades for sure, but I wouldn't say we've seen any negative impact from it," she said.
When it comes to choosing what kind of crowd she'd rather deal with, Morken prefers more open space, which was helped by the parade being canceled.
"It's probably positive in the sense that there's just parking spaces open that wouldn't have been (during the parade)," she said.
More cars and less floats flowed through downtown this year, but most in town said they respect the decision to not hold a parade, even though it leaves a hole.
"It's something that we certainly miss just because it's a nice celebration," Morken said.