This weekend, communities in our area will play host to thousands of people for this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day festivities.
About 50,000 people are expected to be in Scranton Saturday, some of whom are already there.
Newswatch 16 found businesses ready to welcome them all.
“Huge. All the businesses in downtown Scranton. We’re glad to be a part of it. We’re used to throwing a party. It’s just on a much bigger scale tomorrow, you know?” said Dan Taylor, the General Manager of Scranton Hardware Bar on Linden Street in Scranton.
Managers there said it’s like cramming four weeks worth of business into one day.
At Kildare’s Irish Pub on Jefferson Avenue, folks start preparing for the day six months in advance!
Now it’s time for the last minute details.
Assistant General Manager Gary Wilson explained, “Tents, tables, fences, all that stuff came. Beer deliveries. We’re just waiting on a couple bands to set up, get that stuff done.”
At the Hilton Hotel, guests were checking in on Friday evening for Parade Day weekend.
Managers said all 175 rooms are sold out for Saturday night.
A group of firefighters from the Philadelphia area had already checked in. They have come to march with the Scranton firefighters in the parade.
Upper Darby Firefighter Martin Kelly said, “Camaraderie. We support them, they’re going through a tough time right now with layoffs and cut backs. We come up and let the people know there’s a lot of brothers together in this Union.”
Caroline Graham of Pocono Pines waits for this weekend all year long.
“I’m originally from Philadelphia and I love the Mummers Parade. I miss it so much. But the spirit and the genuine people of Scranton bring me here every year and bring my Irish blood out.”
Graham said every year when she checks out of the Hilton on Sunday she books her room for next year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade weekend.
The parade starts at 11:45 a.m. Saturday in Scranton, though many of the bars and restaurants downtown open at 9 a.m.