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Updated Shamrock the Block and Church Hill Irish Festival are Postponed

The two largest St. Patrick Day related festivals are taking different approaches to the threat of COVID-19.

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Update 11:00 AM 2/12 Shamrock the Block is throwing in the towel as well. Statement below:

After speaking with the Mayor directly, we have decided that it is in all our interests to postpone Shamrock The Block for now.

For those who support the festival, the jobs it creates, the economic benefit to the neighborhood it brings and the basic joy of being outside with your friends, we say thank you and we will be back once the fear of gathering has subsided. Mayor Stoney and the City of Richmond have pledged their full support for Shamrock’s return, and we are grateful for that.

Once we have a reschedule date, we will post and let the news outlets know.

Cheers!
The Shamrock Team

Original Post:

Two festivals two different approaches. Shamrock the Block which takes place on Arthur Ashe Boulevard is still planning on hosting their party this Saturday. The Church Hill Irish Festival which was scheduled for next week has decided to postpone its 35th Annual Festival.

From the Church Hill Festival

In the interest of our community health and well being, and after speaking with the Mayors Office and City Officials, we have to postpone the 35th Annual Irish Festival until a later date. It breaks our heart for this to happen, but we must keep in mind that the purpose of the Festival is to benefit our community and to celebrate our heritage. This is the right choice at this time☘️
We are sorry for the inconvenience and we pray for the health of anyone affected by this situation.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Shamrock the Block released this statement:

We want to be thoughtful but not live in fear. We have been monitoring the current news daily and we believe common sense is king here. We are asking people to use their common sense. If you are sick, stay home. If you have concerns, stay home. As event organizers, we always have hand washing stations at the event for health reasons, but we are following the CDC recommendations and are strongly encouraging hand washing throughout the day. We are adding more hand washing stations that can be refilled with soap and water as well as additional hand sanitizing stations inside all of the portalets. To add to that, making it easier for more people to get the 20 seconds recommended and shorten the lines, we have acquired a large water truck that is also equipped with water spigots and soap stations that will be available all day. All of our beer pourers, volunteers and ticket sellers will be provided gloves/disinfectant wipes to use and the kids area will use sanitizing wipes throughout the day on the equipment. Unless we are told otherwise by officials, we are moving forward. We hope for everyone that comes out to have a fun, healthy and enjoyable day.

Cheers,
Shamrock the Block Crew

 

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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NBC12 Reporting Two Police Officers and Suspect Shot on Semmes

At around 1:25 a.m., RPD officers were called to investigate a report of an armed person in the 800 block of Semmes Avenue. When they arrived, gunfire erupted.

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From NBC12:

Two Richmond Police officers and a suspect are injured after a shooting on the city’s south side early Tuesday morning.

At around 1:25 a.m., RPD officers were called to investigate a report of an armed person in the 800 block of Semmes Avenue.

When they arrived, gunfire erupted.

The officers and suspect were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Sources said one officer was hit in the torso and has serious injuries, the other having non-life-threatening injuries. Sources said both are stable.

Two additional suspects were detained for questioning.

The Department’s Force Investigation Team will investigate the shooting and prepare a report for review by the RPD Chief of Police and submission to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

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Richmond Police, Mayor Stoney apologize after tear gas deployed before curfew on protesters

Protesters took to the streets of Richmond again Monday night and were met with a forceful response and the deployment of tear gas by Richmond Police – an action for which the department and Mayor Stoney later apologized.

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Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Richmond again Monday afternoon and evening to speak out after the death of George Floyd. The group organized near both the Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart Monuments on Monument Avenue and remained mainly peaceful until police approached demonstrators at the Lee statue and deployed tear gas, as can be seen below from the below Twitter video from VPM.

Around the same time, reports began coming in that protesters at the Stuart monument were attempting to bring it down. A young demonstrator scaled the base of the statue and took what appeared to be a hack saw to the leg of the monument’s horse in an effort to bring it down. Police responded by calling on protesters to stand down, citing the weight of the monuments and their potential to crush bystanders.

Richmond Police and Mayor Levar Stoney later apologized for the deployment of tear gas on peaceful protesters – well below the 8:00 PM curfew – saying it was uncalled for and inviting protesters to City Hall at noon Tuesday to “apologize in person.” For its part, RPD said the officers involved had been “removed from the field” and would be subject to disciplinary action.

The protesters then continued marching down Franklin Street, then W. Broad Street, where things fizzled out around 10:30 PM near 14th Street.

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PHOTOS: Protests continue for third day around Richmond, tear gas deployed as marchers ignore 8PM curfew

Hundreds of protesters rallied at sites around town Sunday as the third day of protests in response to the death of George Floyd took place in Richmond.

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Hundreds of protesters rallied at sites around town Sunday as the third day of protests in response to the death of George Floyd took place in Richmond. Protesters gathered at peaceful rallies on Brown’s Island and at the 17th Street Farmers Market downtown on Sunday morning.

Later in the day, another group formed at the Lee and Jackson monuments on Monument Avenue in the Fan. As dusk approached, the group made their way east on Franklin Street, turning onto W. Grace Street and then Broad Street near City Hall and Children’s Hospital at VCU.

An 8:00 PM curfew put in place by Mayor Levar Stoney did not deter most protesters, who continued marching and chanting until Richmond Police deployed tear gas and pepper spray into the crowd. Slowly, over the course of an hour, protesters dispersed.

Many businesses along W. Broad Street from Arthur Ashe Boulevard to the Arts District, already left cleaning up broken glass and graffiti Sunday morning from Saturday night’s protests, were left on edge, though there were far fewer reports of property damage Sunday.  Many of the businesses affected were small or minority-owned. By Sunday, many showed their support for the protests, spray painting “Black Lives Matter” or “Small/Minority-Owned” on their window coverings to both show solidarity and deter further damage.

Photographer Dave Parrish caught much of the Fan/Downtown protest Sunday afternoon and files these photos.

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