SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – The colder weather, heavy traffic, and increased security into the festival did not deter thousands from enjoying the Saint Patrick’s day weekend.
There’s no doubt business was good across downtown Savannah this year. The line up for the festival days played perfectly for local bars and restaurants.
Big crowds always mean big business for Savannah. St. Patrick’s Day hands the city the biggest days of consumption they see all year-long.
“We get past the winter months, the January and February, and now we’re starting to continue to grow so it helps us get over that hump and it pretty much sets the standard for the season,” says Josh Pair who is the operations manager at the City Market B&D Burgers.
Even though winter showed up in its final weekend, that did not stop the party that exceeded expectations for many businesses.
“We were expecting to be busy but we actually increased our projections by a good ten, fifteen percent,” says Pair who says that exceeded their expectations given the festival was scaled back to only three days this year.
Around half a million were estimated to visit for the holiday. In the past,the city has averaged more than seventy thousand party goers take to City Market and River Street.
“We definitely did better than we did last year I can attest to that first right off the rope, but I feel like that was the general consensus for all of our restaurants along River Street as well,” says manager Patrick Henderson who’s worked three festivals at Fiddler’s Seafood on west River Street.
There were plenty of reasons that could have deterred visitors, weather,wristbands prices, traffic, but the majority of businesses we heard from improved sales from years past and hope for a repeat next year.
“After this year I hope that it will just continue from to build on to what we did this year, this year was better than last years, last years was better than the year before that,” Henderson says.
Officially the only way we can know if more people came this year than years past will be from the tallied sales on wristbands. The city will have those numbers complete in a couple of weeks.