Updated 03/01/2013 06:12 PM
Businesses ready for parade day crowds
In just a few hours, downtown Binghamton will be a sea of green. The parade day crowds mean big business for many local bars and restaurants. Our Melissa Kakareka has more on how they are preparing.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Thousands of people will want to celebrate parade day with food and drinks on Saturday. And many local bars and restaurants are busy preparing for some of the largest crowds they'll see all year.
"Parade day is the busiest time of the year. In fact, it's busier than any three days or four days combined through the rest of the year," said Tom and Marty's owner Larry Shea.
Places such as Tom and Marty's and The Belmar will even open outdoor bar areas for the overflow crowd.
"We tripled the size of the place. We opened the driveway for people to hang out in. We'll have heaters," said Belmar owner Ed Hickey.
Businesses will have extra staff on hand to help. Several restaurants have even added Irish specialties and drinks to the menu in anticipation of the hungry crowds.
"Everybody knows what the good Irish food is and they know what they want so we give them what they want," said Lost Dog Cafe Catering Manager Nicole Howard.
The House of Reardon knows their traditional ham and cabbage will be in high demand. Volunteers and employees were busy peeling and cutting hundreds of pounds of potatoes, carrots and cabbage on Friday.
"We started bright and early this morning getting our vegetables cut up and our ham quartered and ready to go in the oven tomorrow morning," said House of Reardon owner Bob Norris.
Businesses continue to receive large deliveries of alcohol and are making sure supplies are ready.
"We'll be cutting fruit, lemons, limes, things like that for hours. We've got enough plastic cups, not to feed an army, but certainly to give them a Guinness," said Shea.
But even though it’s a lot to prepare, business owners are ready for the challenge.
"So everything's here, we're ready to roll and all we want to do is just get started," said Norris.
They say they'll be serving up some Irish spirit and lots of fun all day long.