Business owners ready for the return of Wearin' of the Green Parade
BATON ROUGE - It was a quiet lunch inside The Overpass Merchant on Friday morning, but in fewer than 24 hours, the area will see "a whole lot of chaos," according to owner Nick Hufft.
Business owners say they have gallons of frozen Irish Mule, their signature drink, ready to pour, and a month's worth of beer ready to tap.
"This is ground zero for liquid diets all day," Hufft joked.
Barricades are set out along the route, decorations are hung, and the bars are stocked. Owners expect thousands of people to pack Perkins for the parade.
"50- to 100-thousand people throughout the area, incredible, excited to spend what two and a half years since they had St. Patrick's Day," said Mike Johnson, owner of Digiulio Brothers Italian Cafe. "The bars, the merchants, the people who live on the route love it."
The party won't end when the floats park. Uncle Earl's plans to keep the party going.
"It's been insane what we have to do," said Jordan Piazza, owner of Uncle Earl's.
Crews set up a stage outside the bar where more than 4,000 people could attend the bar's "Earlapalooza," where Flo Rida, Nelly, and DJ Digital are set to perform.
"It's a production. We're doing things we've never done," Piazza said.
It's a welcome return to old traditions.
"It's dynamite. They come over that bridge, looks like a fire hydrant of beads going off in celebration. Pat Shingleton comes over, and they toast all of that," Johnson said.
Roads along the route will close around 8 a.m. Get down here early if you're looking for a good spot. Also, remember to drink responsibly.