NEW ALBANY — St. Patrick’s Day certainly isn’t the same this year as communities face closures, cancellations and social distancing due to the coronavirus.

But residents in a New Albany neighborhood kept the holiday spirit alive Tuesday with a small, impromptu St. Patrick’s Day parade, even as they kept their distance.

Kids and families in the historic Hedden’s Grove along Charlestown Road gathered to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a short procession through the streets of the neighborhood. Participants were asked to stay at least six feet apart in observance of social distancing.

Neighbors watched the parade from their front yards, and kids made their way down the street with their families while riding bicycles, pull-along wagons and toy tractors. Participants wore bright green attire and carried green balloons.

Hedden’s Grove resident Charlie Archer said his 6-year-old daughter, Olivia, sat on his lap this morning and asked if they could go to a parade.

“All of them were cancelled, so why don’t we do our own parade was my natural reaction to that,” he said. “She said, ‘yeah, that would be fun.’”

So he alerted the other neighbors, and several families became involved. He wanted to provide a show of togetherness even as people have to isolate themselves because of the coronavirus.

“I know we all want to be safe and healthy, but it’s also important to know that we can be here for each other, too,” Archer said.

Neighborhood resident Elizabeth Goodman attended the parade with her two young kids, and she appreciated the opportunity to get the family out of the house during this time.

“It’s something really fun to do while everyone’s stuck inside, and it was a really fun idea that these guys thought of,” she said.

Participant Susan Goodman was happy to attend the St. Patrick’s Day celebration with her grandchildren. The kids have been worried about the coronavirus, she said, and the family has been trying to find ways to celebrate while staying safe.

“We thought everybody needed something to keep their mind off of the virus, and we thought this was a good way to keep our social distance and yet have a little celebration just on our street,” she said.

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