SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The tents are up and businesses on River Street are stocking up on food and beer.
It's just in time for more visitors celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Savannah. Ken McKee drove in from Virginia Monday morning.
"We went to Wet Willies, started us off right," he said. "We've just been walking down River Street, waiting for things to open up."
"Things were very busy, very crazy," said Jack Metcalf. "Everything was under control, we had a very good time."
Metcalf works at The Warehouse where the doors opened bright and early Monday morning. The St. Patrick's Day festival is the biggest money making event for the bar. In fact, he says it sets the tone for the rest of their year.
The sagging economy threatened to put a damper on all the festivities, but Metcalf's hoping the green will continue to flow in.
"I was a little bit curious how it would all play out, but so far, we've been very happy," he told us. "We expect to have a good crowd today and tomorrow."
Next door at River Street Sweets, there's no chocolate beer to entice revelers, but general manager Chris Myers, said business has been steady anyway.
"The numbers are good and people are just looking for an escape," he explained. "They're getting out and about and forgetting about the economy for awhile. They go out and have a good time."
Which is just what Katherine Vega and friends plan to do. "There's so much to see, so much to do. We had a blast last year," said Vega. "Hoping to do the same this year."
Ken Bradley agreed.
"Savannah's definitely the place to be for St. Patrick's Day," he said. "You've got the warm weather and the best parade in the United States."
Even businesses and vendors will drink to that. The festival will run through Tuesday night.