St. Patrick's Day could bring in more green for downtown businesses

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Monday, March 17, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Business owners in Downtown Augusta are expecting large crowds tonight.

Hundreds lined the street earlier for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. They braved wet and cold temperatures to celebrate the holiday.

Business owners hope they get more green on St. Patrick's Day night. The rain sprinkled along with the beer and beads flowing.

Despite the weather, hundreds lines the streets of Downtown Augusta.

"Parades are great promotional events for us downtown and the businesses. You get people that don't come downtown or haven't come downtown in a couple of years," said DDA Director Margaret Woodard.

"It was fun despite the rain and cold. It was fun," parade attendee Aretha Eason said.

Barry Blackstone is hoping for even more good times tonight at his bar Stillwater.

"We are prepared for the most part. We expect half of what it's been," bar owner Barry Blackstone said.

He said when the parade falls on the weekend his business doubles. However, since it fell on a Monday, he's expecting a 60 percent decrease from last year.

He said the bigger crowds outside translate into more green inside.

"The last two years it's been over the weekend. It makes a dramatic increase over a weekday parade. It's a huge influx of people for us," he said.

Blackstone said either way his business will get lucky as long as the vodka, gin and tequila are stocked tight.

Once the crowds leave, the cleanup begins at least until next year when they do it all over again.

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