Organisers of the St Patrick's Festival have confirmed there will be no street parade in Dublin this year.

Instead, virtual events will be held on a special online TV channel 'SPF TV'.

The parade was cancelled last year too due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the festival management team said although there will not be any gathering on the streets it will be "reimagining" it with "marching bands, pageantry and ceremony" during the festival, which will run from 12-17 March.

"A rich and dynamic programme of festival events, created by hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, makers, creators, arts and live events workers and community organisations across Ireland, will run on the St Patrick's Festival TV online channel over six days and nights," said Aileen Galvin, the festival's Marketing and Communications Director.

The celebrations will be broadcast around the world to a potential audience of 80 million.

Ms Galvin said the decision was easier to make this year because it is obvious that large gatherings are not feasible at this time.

She told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne that the festival will organise virtual parades that can be organised at home in conjunction with RTÉ.

The Dublin festival and parade usually attracts more than 110,000 visitors over four days, involving 3,000 artists and performers and generates €70m for the capital.

It usually costs €2m with Fáilte Ireland providing half of the funding and the rest coming from Dublin City Council and the Department of Tourism.

It is still unclear how much funding will be available this year, but organisers of other festivals in 2021 have been told they will get 25% of their usual allocation.

Meanwhile, the annual St Patrick's Day parades in Cork city, Limerick and Ennis have also been cancelled this year as a result of the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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RTÉ will be the partner for the virtual parade in Dublin with further details of this to be announced later.