Saturday’s was not only a show of Irish spirit; it provided a shot in the arm for local businesses.
A few local eateries set up shop on the sidewalk, offering spectators the opportunity to buy food or drink on the street, which for some, helped increase sales.
“We did great business outside,” said Dave Hennings of . “If the day hadn’t been so gloomy before the parade started, I’m sure it would have been even better.”
This year set up a tent in their parking lot, compete with Irish music, corned beef sandwiches and beer on tap. More restaurants seemed to push their wares on the street rather than just their stores.
“It ended up being a good day. The weather cleared up,” said Steve Cardello, chef and co-owner of Relish. “We were able to clean up and get ready for dinner. We did a busy dinner.” Overall, Cardello thinks he did about the same as last year, but says this year was a good start. “I think we are going to try a pancake breakfast and fundraiser next year,” he said.
Pubs like had a steady crowd throughout the day, but said that last year Celtic was the place, but this year many establishments were taking advantage of a chance to increase business.
“I think last year people didn't know what to expect or do so everyone was at Celtic,” said owner Melissa MacDougall. This year people caught on. It was a great opportunity to make some money and thrive in your business.”
The became a gathering spot for locals, offering a place to sit, have a pint and chat with friends as well as a fundraiser. Auxiliary member, Jim Pavese said that raffles and drinks were a hit. Pavese, who also owns the Park Lounge, said he had a very steady day there.
"We had patrons coming in all throughout business hours,” said Pavese. “Much better than a regular Saturday night, so the parade definitely helped.”
What wasn’t a hit? At Edelweiss, the traditional Irish breakfast sausage didn’t go over very well.
"We offered Irish bangers, bratwurst and foot-long hot dogs,” said Hennings. “We hardly sold any of the bangers, but went through almost all of our hot dogs and brats. Bangers are basically just Irish bratwursts, so go figure.”