Vancouver’s annual celebration of all things Irish — the St. Patrick’s Day parade — has been cancelled because most of the people who help put on the event volunteered for the Olympics and Paralympics.

“It’s disappointing but realistic,” said Rita Albano, executive producer of the event, who added that the decision to put off the annual five-day Celtic Fest, which includes the parade, was made last year.

“We are very volunteer-driven and about 80 to 90 per cent (of our volunteers) were committed to working for the Games or Cultural Olympiad, and we couldn’t get them to help us in March,” she said.

“Secondly, our actual marketing and promotion campaign and ticket sales take place during January and February and we felt we ... wouldn’t be able to sell tickets with the Olympics going on.”

Albano added that the parade route would have needed to move outside of the downtown core because of Paralympic-related security reasons.

“We like to do things very well or not at all and we felt if we tried to do it this year it may not have been an a success,” she said.

“We’ll be back next year.”

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