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Pre-Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations Bring Business

JPsHOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — We’re just a couple of days away from Saint Patrick’s Day and folks are getting into the festive spirit.

Holyoke’s annual road race and parade aren’t for another week, but that can mean extra money for some local businesses.

As the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations get underway, local bars say they’re seeing green, both litterally and figuratively.

“Our help is going to have to work double and triple time, but it is to their benefit, because it fattens up their pocket,” said Jim Lavelle, owner of J.P.’s Restaurant and Sports Bar.

Folks turned up Saturday in Holyoke, for the corned beef at J.P.’s and the pizza at Pic’s, but also for the festive atmosphere.

“People getting excited about the upcoming week, we have Saint Patrick’s Day coming on Monday, continuing through the weekend with the parade,” Mark Delude of Pic’s Pub said.

“I just enjoy being out earlier, next weekend will be really busy, especially in the area. So I would rather be out this weekend,” explained Barb McNiff, of Holyoke.

That’s not to say most people aren’t looking forward to the week ahead.

“There’s a whole different attitude created. They forget work and just enjoy it,” Holyoker Roddy Cameron noted.

“Not to try to glorify it any more, but it would be like five or six weeks stuck into a couple of days,” said Lavelle.

The extra business generated by the week long celebration is welcome, after a long, cold winter kept people indoors, instead of out, spending money.

“All you need is the sun. It brings everybody out. And everybody starts feeling that they should have a Guinness or two,” Lavelle laughed.

With all that extra business, both bars say they’re taking extra steps to keep things safe.

“People sometimes get a little crazy and you know, you’ve got to instruct them that we are not going to put up with that,” said Lavelle.

“That’s our main objective, to make sure everybody has a good time and everybody is safe, you know and gets home safely,” Delude noted.

Local police departments are warning people not to drink and drive during the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, and remind you the cost of a taxi ride is much less the expense associated with a D.U.I.

In addition to the Saint Patrick’s Day business, both bars say march madness basketball will help boost profits.

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