Nothing--not even the coronavirus--could stop this group in Syracuse from keeping this Syracuse tradition alive.

For the past 43 years, a large group has gathered on Tipperary Hill to paint a giant, green shamrock under the upside-down traffic light. Jeffrey Costello, the organizer of the event, announced Monday that it would not happen as planned.

But at midnight on March 17, it was apparent that other people in Syracuse had different ideas. They painted the shamrock anyway.

According to, a woman named Maureen Moriarty posted a video of the painting to Costello's page.

"I was one of the 49 but stayed safe in the vehicle.☘️‍♀️ " Moriarty wrote, according to “Btw the only reason the painting ended up happening is because tradition was about to be broken and we would NOT let that happen by anyone so the true painters came through!!!☘️☘️#nocrowdsover50 ☘️”

That's right. In accordance with Governor Cuomo's ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in order to reduce possible coronavirus exposure, there were exactly 49 people in attendance, according to Others watched from their cars.

Big Frog 104 logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

The traffic light holds significant value to the Irish community in Syracuse and is rumored to be a spot where young Irish kids would throw stones because it showed red over green like a normal stoplight. To them, this represented the British (red) over the Irish (green). The Irish community eventually convinced officials to flip the signals, making it a popular tourist attraction in central New York.

More From Big Frog 104