Hilton Head preparing for St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hilton Head preparing for St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

The annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade on Hilton Head Island is just a few days away and the town is preparing for the thousands of visitors to have a good time.

The parade kicks off at 3 o'clock on Sunday and there is sure to be a sea of green.

The route will follow along Pope Avenue, passing along Cordillo Parkway. The staging area for those participating will be in the Coligny Beach parking lot, but please note there will not be any parking available near or in this lot.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office explained their role during the parade.

"They can expect at least 25 extra deputies out there setting up traffic cones and blocking off the roadway during the parade and obviously looking for underage drinking and other behavior that accompanies St. Patrick’s Day,” said Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Cpt. Bob Bromage.

The sheriff's office will began rerouting traffic along Pope Avenue around 2 p.m. So make sure you plan ahead of time, because the parade is sure to bring the crowds and definitely the traffic.

WTOC stopped in Aunt Chilada's, which will be hosting this weekend's Pattypalooza. In fact the owner's father actually started the parade more than 20 years ago, and since the first parade, visitors have increased and so has business for local shops.

"33,000 people turn out for the Saint Patrick’s Day parade on Hilton Head Island and what a fun event, it's fun for residents,” said Charli Clark, Hilton Head Island Chamber of Commerce.

And for business owners, that large crowd translates into big sales. For example, Aunt Chilada's, which is on the parade route, sees more than double the number of customers than any other day of the year.

“For us, we look at it as the launch of the season getting here. Once you get to the parade and then Saint Patrick's Day and then it's spring break and the start of tourist season,” said Aunt Chilada’s owner, Brendan Reilley.

Catering to the thousands of people that might stop in your store isn't easy work. Some businesses prepare for the big day a whole month in advance.

"Just the work of making sure all our vendors are lined up, our products are here, rentals, stages, booking the bands, and making sure that's ready to go,” said Reilley.

Before you're ready to go for Sunday's big celebration, make a note of road closures along Pope Avenue that will last between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Also, be mindful that open container laws will be in effect despite the festivities. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office wants to remind people that on Hilton Head it is illegal to walk around with alcohol beverages. 

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