Peter Kelly is a native of Ireland and said back home St. Patrick’s Day isn’t too big of a deal. So, when he bought his bar, The Irish Wolf Pub, along Scranton’s St. Patty’s day parade route, he wasn’t necessarily expecting the crowds of thousands outside his Linden Street bar.
“It’s interesting. You look forward to it but when it’s happening you’re like “Oh my God!” But, it’s good with the police outside to make sure there’s no problems,” Kelly said.
Kelly says this Saturday he orders about ten times the amount of alcohol than a typical weekend. And the planning for parade day starts in January.
Just down the street, employees at the Backyard Ale House were getting their last deliveries. And making sure they have enough supplies for the thousands of customers they’ll have tomorrow.
“About 15,000 plastic cups, it’s big, it’s like our Mardi Gras,” said owner William Nasser.
Organizers expect 50,000 people to watch the parade. So, for businesses along the parade route it’s one of the most profitable days of the year.
But, people who make the parade a tradition say it’s valuable for the City of Scranton too.
“It says something about who we are as a community, and the spirit that we have, we all come out and have a great day regardless of our ethnic heritage. We’re all Americans, and tomorrow we celebrate as Scrantonians,” said Scranton mayor Chris Doherty.
Mayor Doherty and members of the Irish American Men’s Association hoisted the Irish flag in front of City Hall before the festivities officially starts on Saturday.