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HOT SPRINGS — The annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, scheduled for March 17, has been canceled because of uncertainties surrounding the covid-19 pandemic, tourism officials announced Thursday.

The cancellation of the parade will likely cause Hot Springs’ economy to take a hit, said Steve Arrison, chief executive officer of the Visit Hot Springs tourism agency.

“It’s a great event that brings a lot of dollars into our community, so if there was any way we could have the parade safely where we guarantee everybody can have a great time, we would have had the parade because it brings a lot of dollars into all areas of the economy of Hot Springs,” he said.

About 30,000 spectators assemble in downtown Hot Springs to watch celebrities, marchers and floats.

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